Hopes fade … anger rises

Here is the front page of today’s New York Times. It struck me as perhaps the most devastating journalistic composition I’ve ever seen. The photo and the headline together paint depression as I’ve never seen it in a news publication:

To compare, if you want, here are the front pages for the days following the 2004 Christmas-time tsunami:
http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2004/12/27/pageone/scan/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2004/12/28/pageone/scan/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2004/12/29/pageone/scan/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2004/12/30/pageone/scan/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2004/12/31/pageone/scan/index.html

Compare the headlines: For the tsunami, “Thousands Die …,” “Toll in Undersea Earthquake Passes 25,000,” “Toll Soaring, Survivors Face a 2nd Terror: Disease,” “World Leaders Vow Aid …,” “Many Still in Need ….” All of those are factual descriptions of physical loss and destruction. Though devastating in their account, none are packed with the frank emotion of today’s “Hopes Fade … Anger Rises.” Along with that photo, I can imagine no front page more starkly announcing that darkness has arrived.

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