Eyeing A1

A look at newspaper front pages from around the country

Archive for March 2010

What does this woman do for a living?

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This was the front page of Philadelphia Daily New on January 29, 2010. When you look at this, there are probably a number of different things doing through your mind all of which probably lead to sex.

It’s obviously a ploy to get people to look at the paper. And it likely worked.You have a woman who is partially clothed and glistening.

The message being received, however, has nothing to do what is actually going on. This woman has nothing to do with anything that is being portrayed on this cover.

This is Allison Baver, a olympic speed skater from Reading, Penn., which is what the Philadelphia Daily News care about her.

Around the same time this article came out, Lindsay Vonn appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and drew the criticism of many who thought the front cover was too sexualized.

I guess they didn’t see this cover because this had more implications than anything Vonn did. Baver looks as though she belongs on the cover of Sports Illustrated rather than the Philadelphia Daily News.

Not even the alphabetic text can help this photo. This is a photo that completely takes over every voice. No matter what is written, there is only one thing people are thinking about. That is a huge problem in women who play sports. They are sensationalized for their sexiness and appearances rather than their ability.

Ten years down the line, anyone who looks at this cover isn’t going to think about a woman who competed in the Olympics. They are just going to see boobs – as people are just seeing now anyway.

By the way, here’s the entire cover:

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Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Mrs. Doubtfire will kill you

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It takes about an hour for me to get home from class every week. I like to rehash what happened and perhaps think of the upcoming project. This week, I only had one thought as I drove home, “I can make anyone think whatever I want.”

We watched several mashed up movie trailers, which made horror movies seem like romantic comedies and a popular trilogy turn into a story about homosexual love. Each one of these trailers was convincing, and if you never saw the movie prior, would completely believe the implications of the trailer.

This leads into our next project where we are going to take the Super Bowl commercials and archival footage from the 50s, 60s and 70s to create a point about gender, race or anything within society.

Initially, I thought I would do the video on how sexist the commercials were. I remember watching the Super Bowl with my agape rather than laughing at was supposed to be funny commercials. The one commercial that was supposed to be controversial – the Tim Tebow pro-life ad – was one of the least offensive commercials that aired during the Super Bowl.

But what happens if I move away from that thought. What if I make a video that invites people to think that women ARE evil. There’s a reason men, apparently, feel emasculated in 2010.

After all, if you can make it seem Doc Brown and Marty McFly are in love with each other, I can make anyone else believe anything I want.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 29, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Essay on the photo essay

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There are portions of Atlantic City that aren’t seen by visitors or even those that live there. Apart from the casinos, it’s a not a town anyone would go visit. There’s corruption in the government and crime on the streets. There are also people who live under the Boardwalk and call it home. I focused most of my photo set on this.

Almost every photo has alphabetic text that I incorporated with it. These weren’t captions but supplements to the photos to help make the message clearer.

If we look at the pure image of many of the photos, there is too much left to interpretation by the receiver. So what if there is a guy smoking a cigarette on a street corner or a closed supermarket? To get the reader to look deeper and see the message I want them to see, I added alphabetic text (in certain colors and fonts), different tones and captions.

Take the pictures of the two homeless men. There are two sentences in each photo. One describes who this man was before he found his way onto the streets. The other is how outsiders view him.

The ‘homeless’ stamp is in big, Hollywood-type font and bright colors because it is the initial reaction people have when they see them. The other sentence is smaller because it usually takes people looking harder and deeper to get to the truth.

It was important to highlight what I wanted people to look in each photo. The alphabetic text is arguably more important than the photo itself. I wanted people to see how they immediately label situations and how the subjects often time view the situation.

In Visual Culture: A Reader, Roland Barthes says, “We are still a civilization of writing, writing and speech continuing to be full terms of the informational structure (p. 38).” The captions accompany the alphabetic text in the photos to explain to the reader what the signifieds are in the image and to avoid everything else in the photo.

The very first image in the set has alphabetic text that evokes a different meaning of the pure image. The connotation signifies a warm, cozy place to live, somewhere a person feels comfortable and where they are always welcome. However, the picture – which purposely is hued in sepia tones to convey sadness – is of a place under the Atlantic City Boardwalk. To most of us, this is not a home. The text is to show the dichotomy between the thought of the saying and what is actually pictured.

The last photo perhaps was the most striking and had the least work done to it. I didn’t write the alphabetic text. They are handwritten names of dead homeless people. However, it was important to make it this last photo. I showed how some of the homeless lived leading up to this photo, but there is an end to all of them, and often to early. The homeless community is tighter than many realize and the people we walk past daily have names and have people who care about them. I put the photo last because I wanted their life to be shared first before we find out how it all ends.

The pictory was also mocked up.

This was the original photo taken of the Atlantic City beach.

raw Pictory photo

It was a cold, cloudy day and doesn’t evoke a feeling of happiness, summer and wanting to splash in the blue water. I changed the hues of the picture to make the photo more vibrant and have the colors really stand out. Bright colors evoke a feeling of happiness and joy, but one has to wonder why the beach is empty on what looks like a summer day.

A place that was once happy and probably full of kids running and laughing is empty, but there are people nearby. The homeless living under the Boardwalk with probably the best view of the ocean.

Here’s a link to the entire set and Pictory.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

My Pictory – revisted

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Once upon a time Atlantic City was a resort town. Families vacationed on the beach while letting the waves splash their feet. This was long before the casinos were built. The empty beach evokes memories of those long-gone days as the beach looks peaceful, but just a few steps away there are homeless living under the Boardwalk. The Atlantic City beach isn't a vacation for them, but the only home they have.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Atlantic City’s homeless – revisited

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Here’s a slideshow of the pictures for Atlantic City’s homeless.

Here’s an example of some of the photos:

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 24, 2010 at 10:58 pm

When it’s not there

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On Sunday, the House passed the health reform, which was news everywhere.

Well, almost everywhere. There was loads of coverage on television and all over the Internet. Social media sites were buzzing all night with commentary on the subject.

However, one of the most interesting things to happen in the last 24 hours were the newspapers that did not have this story on the front page of their newspapers.

TheWrap.com went through all 406 newspaper front pages today and found that just 15 did not devote some type of coverage on the front page of their paper.

Of course this could be for a number of reasons and one beyond the newspaper’s control is deadline. If the paper was done before the story got out, well, can’t control that. But, there are instances like this when a deadline should be held just a little longer. By not getting this in the paper further proves how out-dated newspapers are becoming, which for obvious reasons makes me sad.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

They’re always smiling

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Scouring some front pages on Newseum.org, I initially opened the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (yep, in Alaska) because there was a big picture on the front page. I just wanted to see what was so important to the paper that they felt deserved so much attention.

The photo is centered on the page and every story is around the photo, which means the reader has to look at the photo. It dominates the entire page.

The photo didn’t interest  me much, but I am sure the people of Fairbanks, Alaska could relate to a cross-country skier.

Bryan Richardson, 20, killed in Fairbanks, Alaska. Photo is from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

I was actually struck by the article running across the top of the page. It’s about a 20-year-old boy who was shot and killed.

I’ve noticed that anytime newspapers report on someone’s death, the picture is always have them happy. I know the picture that is featured in the article and on the newspaper’s website wasn’t taken by a staff photographer. It’s obviously one given to the paper by the family.

But this often holds true for celebrities or even those that newspapers may have many pictures of.

Pictures show those who have died as usually smiling and happy in life.

Even was the case when actor Corey Haim recently passed away even though he has a history of drug abuse. I don’t have any front pages showing his mug with his infectious smile, but there are some examples on the Internet.

People magazine has a nice photo of him, even though he looks rather tired.

Why are they always smiling? What message is coming across when editors choose to show a smiling face of someone who has died rather than one that accurately portrayed who they were in life.

I’m not saying Richardson wasn’t a happy person. But, I’m sure there was more to him than a guy laying on a couch posing for a camera shot.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 19, 2010 at 11:08 am