We’ve Got Some Very, Very Bad News!

We’ve Got Some Very, Very Bad News!

Bad News is a remarkable animated short film created by Bastian Böhm and Nico Uthe.  The film has been named to the Guggenheim Museum’s shortlist for its YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video contest, which has generated some 23,000 submissions since it began in June.

The viewer is confronted by headlines proclaiming the end of the world, reports of terrible financial crises and fears of an impending apocalypse.  Bad News presents the viewer with a question about what kinds of consequences could be caused by sensational news reports, to what extent does mass-media become a form of catastrophic self-fulfilling prophecy.

We’ve Got Some Very, Very Bad News!

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After Almost 150 Years, Denver’s “Rocky Mountain News” Says Goodbye

After Almost 150 Years, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News Says Goodbye

On Thursday, the executives from E.W. Scripps Co., the corporate owner of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, announced their decision in the 150-year-old newspaper’s newsroom to close the Rocky Mountain News. The announcement came as metropolitan newspapers and major newspaper companies all across the country find themselves reeling, with plummeting advertising revenues and dramatically diminished share prices. Earlier this week, Hearst, owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, announced that unless it was able to make immediate and steep expense cuts, it would be forced to put the paper up for sale and possibly close it. Two other major newspapers publishing with joint operating agreements, one in Seattle and the other in Tucson, are facing closure in coming weeks.

The Rocky Mountain News was founded in 1859 by William Byers, one of the most influential figures in Colorado history. Scripps bought the newspaper in 1926 and immediately began a longtime newspaper battle with The Denver Post. That fight ebbed and flowed over the course of the rest of the 20th century, at one point resulting in penny-a-day subscriptions in the late ’90s. Perhaps the most critical step for the Rocky Mountain News occurred in 1942, when then-Editor Jack Foster saved it by adopting the tabloid style for which it has been known ever since. Readers loved the change, and circulation took off.

During the past decade, the Rocky Mountain News has won four Pulitzer Prizes, more than all but a handful of American newspapers. Its Sports Section was named one of the 10 best in the nation just this week. Last year, its Business Section was cited by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as one of the best in the country. And its photography staff is regularly listed among the best in the nation when the top photo newspapers are judged.

The closure of the Rocky Mountain News means that like the vast majority of larger American cities today, Denver now is left with only one major newspaper, The Denver Post.

Readers can read the “Farewell Editorial” from Friday’s edition of the Rocky Mountain News here.

Final Edition: Denver’s Rocky Mountain News Says Goodbye

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The Megalomaniacal Matt Drudge Endangered Prince Harry’s Life

Matt Drudge Causes Abrupt Withdrawal of Prince Harry from Afghanistan

This morning, Prince Harry was quickly sent back to England from Afghanistan. While his commanders have mostly chosen to blame the “foreign media” in general, it’s very clear to everyone that it was really The Drudge Report that created the tremendous security risk for Prince Harry, as well as for the others who were serving in his military unit.

The megalomaniacal Matt Drudge had boastfully unveiled a self-congratulatory double-decker banner on Thursday, but by today British newspapers have raised many questions about what Drudge did, such as: Why did he blow Harry’s cover? Would he have done the same if it were the children of President Bush or Senator Hillary Clinton? What took him so long? (The secret had been kept safe for 10 weeks).

Neil Wallis, Executive Editor of News of the World, slammed Mr. Drudge for the “cheap shot,” considering all the publications that did obey the embargo, including his own. “Any number of newspapers or broadcasters in this country could have claimed that as far back as December,” he said.

Prince Harry Returning Home for Security Reasons

Interested viewers can read more about how Drudge’s actions endangered Prince Harry’s life in The New York Times, here.

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The Old Gray Lady Has Moved: She’s Still a Victorian Dowager

The grand old 18-story Neo-Gothic structure on 43rd Street, home to The New York Times for nearly a century, had many sentimental charms. Its complex warren of reporters’ desks and piles of old, yellowing newspapers were reminiscent of a hallowed tradition, but it also had become increasingly tawdry, down-at-the-heels and conspicuously old-fashioned. The new 52-story Times building between 40th and 41st Streets, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, is a towering modern composition of glass and steel all gussied up in a veil of ceramic rods.

Thirty years ago, Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers designed the Pompidou Center in Paris, which announced a new wave of high-tech architecture and culminated a decade later in Norman Foster’s Hongkong & Shanghai Bank. Since then, Foster has moved away from high-tech, as is displayed in his sleek Hearst Building, just up Eighth Avenue from The New York Times building.

Piano has moved away from high-tech architectural design also, and his 2006 addition to the Morgan Library in New York City characterizes his current low-key approach. However, in the New York Times Building, Piano has returned to his Pompidou Center roots; not exposed pipes and ducts, which were always clearly impractical, but rather with dramatic structural details that boldly proclaim, “This is how I am made.”

Building the Times

Photography by: Annie Leibovitz

Piano’s Times Building: An Architectural Review

The Historic Times Building: Views of the Past

The New York Times: Old and New

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