Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Explosive Features Get Graded

In honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of a really stinking big explosion, I would like to take an opportunity to do something a little different and new. Occasions like this inevitably result in all the major newspapers running big front page stories, all trying to take some unique and interesting angle on said event. This inevitably results in me being really bored. And that is why, dear reader, I have decided to review the pictures used in each of three major local newspapers. So enough of the boring introduction.
St. Helens by the Seattle Times
A cloudy future for volcano experts
Newspaper: Seattle Times
Story Headline: A cloudy future for volcano experts
Comments: As you can see, the Times decided to go with a lame attempt at making a clever connection between the photograph and the article headline. See, the headline says "Cloudy future..." and the picture has the mountain surrounded by clouds, get it? Oi. Anyway it is a fairly nifty picture although it's nothing that you couldn't catch over the VolcanoCam. They've even got a similar image in the VolcanoCam Hall of Fame. I think the only really redeeming feature of this photograph is the tiny helicopter in the foreground, and the amusing thought of a giant cloud-hand rising up from the white pillow to grab the helicopter and throw it into the Volcano. You know, to appease the gods.
Grade: C+

St. Helens by the Seattle P-I
Mount St. Helens still shrouded in secrets
Newspaper: Seattle P-I
Story Headline: Mount St. Helens still shrouded in secrets
Comments: Okay, at least here we have a picture that you can't just pull up on the Internet. Unfortunately though, they felt the need to desecrate the picture with educational labels. I guess they're educating us about the "secrets." Actually the picture has a lot less to do with the article than you might think. Most of the article is spent talking about two dudes who share two things: the initials SM, and a possibly unhealthy obsession with volcanoes. I am sorry to report that neither of them is Steve Martin. Now that would have made an interesting article. But I digress. We are supposed to be talking about the featured photograph. Um, yeah. It kind of makes me want to go watch Lord of the Rings again. Whatever.
Grade: B

St. Helens by the Tacoma News-Tribune
Lives, punctuated
Newspaper: Tacoma News-Tribune
Story Headline: Lives, punctuated
Comments: The News-Tribune decided to go with the "couldn't possibly have been more predictable" route with their story, and wrote about the personal perspectives of a handful of eruption survivors. Like that hasn't been done before. But thankfully, their dreadfully unsurprising story was offset by this stand-out picture. Highlighting the stunning jagged features of the Washington's biggest smoker, this lovely photo was even taken by a New-Tribune photographer, one miss Janet Jensen. I am sure there are a lot of funny things I could say here, but I really do like this picture. I would set it to my computer background if I had a higher resolution version of it. Maybe I can use a turkey sandwich, a Star Trek mug, and a cheap corded telephone to bribe the News-Tribune into giving me one. Then again, I don't think I could part with my Star Trek mug.
Grade: A

Source: Seattle Times, Seattle P-I, Tacoma News-Tribune
Categories: News, Local


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