October 30, 2012

Did Wire Services, Big Media Overlook Homeless in Sandy Photo Coverage?

TOPSHOTS A woman walks past a boarded up Saks Fifth Avenue  October 29, 2012 as New Yorkers prepare for Hurricane Sandy which is suppose to hit the city later tonight. Much of the eastern United States was in lockdown mode October 29, 2012 awaiting the arrival of a hurricane dubbed "Frankenstorm" that threatened to wreak havoc on the area with storm surges, driving rain and devastating winds.  AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARYSaks Fifth Avenue

Goldman Sachs

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange

Damaged crane dangling from $1.5 billion mid-town luxury high-rise

One57 is slated to be 90 stories tall when it is completed and it’s already attracted rich investors from Russia, South Korea and China willing to plunk down a minimum of $7 million for a condo in the building.

The dizzying tower at 157 W. 57th St. will put the Trump Tower to shame in terms of opulence, with floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular views, high-end appliances and master bathrooms the size of one-bedroom apartments.

Crowning it all will be a $90 million, 10,923-square foot duplex on the 89th and 90th floors.

Tourists were immediately drawn to the spectacle.

— Via: Crane collapse in midtown Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy storms into the East Coast (NY Daily News)

One of the most troubling aspects of the photo coverage of Hurricane Sandy in the onset, and then the onslaught of the disaster is the near absence of the homeless. Scanning through the major wire services and photo galleries of the larger corporate news organizations, there is an enormous amount of photography documenting the wind, sea and pelting rain, as well as the pounding effects on urban as well as outlying property and infrastructure. Regarding those citizens people relegated to the streets, however, apparently the homeless — as is true in this critical election we are in the closing days of — disappeared into the blind spot.

There are some articles to be found (HuffPo, NY Observer) focusing on the homeless. The accompanying photos seem to be snapped by local or amateur sources, however. If you were following the media photo stream, on the other hand, you’ll notice there is no shortage of images of the sandbagged or emptied New York Stock Exchange or America’s retail-industrial complex so professionally-protected.

Hurricane Sandy homeless Demotix

The notable exception, it seems, is a poignant photo essay (“Hurricane Sandy approaches New York City as homeless remain outside“), mostly taken in Harlem and Central Park, offered by the freelance photojournalist network, Demotix. Unfortunately, the best link for you to see it is on the Demotix site itself (click just above) because it doesn’t seem like any publisher of scale or reach chose to purchase it.


(photo 1: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images caption: A woman walks past a boarded up Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City on Oct. 29, 2012 as New Yorkers prepare for Hurricane Sandy which is suppose to hit the city later tonight. photo 2: Michael Appleton for The New York Times. caption: At the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Lower Manhattan. photo 3: Eleazar David Meléndez/IBD Times caption: Sandbags set in front of the New York Stock Exchange in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. photo 4: Richard Drew/Reuters. caption: The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was empty of traders Monday morning, after stock and options exchanges and their regulators decided late Sunday that U.S. markets would be closed for the day. photo 5: Andrew Kelly/Reuters caption: A partially collapsed crane hangs from a high-rise building in Manhattan as Hurricane Sandy makes its approach in New York on Oct. 29, 2012.)



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Michael Shaw
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