A possible cyberattack stopped the Philadelphia Inquirer from printing its regular Sunday edition and disrupted the newsroom through the following week.
The attack came as staff were preparing to cover an “expensive and fiercely contested” mayoral primary.
Publisher and chief executive Elizabeth Hughes described the event as “anomalous activity on select computer systems” which led to systems being taken offline.
Print subscribers were provided instead with a Sunday ‘early edition’ which had gone to press on the Friday night. Website posts were affected, but Monday print editions of both the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News were distributed as scheduled.
Journalists were planning to work from home and at a co-working space, with election coverage unlikely to be directly affected.
The New York Times quoted Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia president Diane Mastrull that COVID-19 had taught staff “to do our jobs remotely”. But she said with continued workarounds on the CMS, she “would not use the word ‘normal’.”