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Extra! Extra! Barack Obama's historic win causes a run on newspapers

November 5, 2008 |  1:34 pm

(UPDATE: Online sales of the historic Nov. 5 edition of the L.A. Times, plus special front-page posters, printing plates and oversized magnets, have begun. Click here for more info.) But first check out this new video:

Today is a good day for president-elect Barack Obama.

It's also a good day for newspapers.

Across the nation, people have been snapping up newspapers bearing Obama-related headlines at record rates. The Los Angeles Times, which printed 30,000-40,000 more copies than it usually does last night, sold out this morning.

Today, the newspaper is printing an extra run of 30,000 copies to meet demand. That's good news for the dozens of people who lined up outside the newLos Angeles Times election results editionspaper's office in downtown Los Angeles, clamoring for copies.

Other newspapers around the country are also printing extra copies, according to Romenesko, a blog about the journalism industry at

The Chicago Tribune and New York Times are printing 50,000 extra newspapers, Romenesko reports, and the Washington Post is printing 150,000 copies of a commemorative edition of today's paper. The Chicago Tribune will distribute an additional 200,000 copies of the paper, according to insiders there.

On EBay, copies of the historic papers are being auctioned as "collectors items." As of 1:30 p.m. PST, 15 people had bid on one copy of today's New York Times. The starting bid for that paper was $100 (it cost just $1.50 on the street).

The news of the run on papers is a bright spot for the ailing newspaper industry, which has suffered in recent years from a decline in circulation. It also probably has editors across the country wistfully thinking this:

If only there could be a historic presidential election every day ...

(UPDATE: Interest in coverage of the election has not been limited to print. received record traffic yesterday, recording 8.36 million page views in just 24 hours. The previous one-day record, set in 2007, was 8.2 million views during the California fires.)

-- Kate Linthicum

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Video credit: Ticket video by Sachi Cunningham