How Obituaries Got a Jolt of New Life in the Internet Era


Paul Farhi 保罗·法尔希

Once a sleepy corner of journali *** , obituaries have found new life in the Internet era. A well-crafted obit for a prominent figure — blending history and biography, triggering nostalgia or perhaps even the reader's own feelings of mortality — can attract enormous readership online. And now there's a need for speed: The obit that comes out first, or at least fast,can win the day.

The New York Times has 1,850 such obits idling in its computer system, according to William McDonald, the newspaper's obituaries editor; The Washington Post has about 900 on hand,said its obituaries editor, Adam Bernstein.

Baby boomer nostalgia has stoked some of the interest in the lives and deaths of the famous, said Hillel Italie, an Associated Press reporter who has written obituaries of leading cultural figures. Older readers have “a growing awareness of their mortality and sensitivity to the passing of those who helped define their lives,” he said, citing the hunger for news about the August death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts at 80.

But the untimely deaths of younger celebrities are a proven draw as well: One of the most-read obits in The Washington Post's history was that of actress Brittany Murphy, who died suddenly in 2009 at the age of 32. The September obituary for actor Michael K. Williams,54, racked up 2.8 million views for the New York Times.

The Post's first obituaries editor, J.Y. Smith, wrote so many advance obits that his name continued to appear in the newspaper more than a dozen years after his death in 2006,including on the obituaries of former president Gerald Ford and former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. As Smith himself lay dying in a hospice,he made one request of Bernstein: “Don't let them screw with my [Fidel] Castro obituary!”(Written more than two decades before Castro's death, it was periodically updated and published a decade after Smith's.) The Post's obituary for Colin Powell, which published upon the former secretary of state's death last month, was written 12 years ago by former staff writer Bradley Graham, shortly before he left The Post in 2009.

外文全称:International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People


背景介绍: 11月29日,联合国举行“声援巴勒斯坦人民国际日”纪念大会。联合国大会在1977年12月2日做出一项决议,将11月29日定为“声援巴勒斯坦人民国际日”并举办纪念活动,以动员国际舆论支持巴勒斯坦人民争取合法民族权利的正义斗争,纪念活动从1978年开始每年举行。

外文全称:Sandra Mason



参考消息12月2日报道 据法新社华盛顿消息,当地时间12月1日,提交给美国联邦 *** 的一份题为《美国在全球海洋塑料垃圾中的作用》的最新报告显示,到目前为止,美国是全球塑料垃圾的最大来源国,该报告呼吁制定国家战略来解决日益严重的危机。(The United States is by far the biggest contributor to global plastic waste in the world)




外文全称:Xiomara Castro






参考消息网11月29日报道 11月26日,联合国技术顾问团召开紧急会议,经讨论将B.1.1.529新冠变异毒株列为“需关注变异株”(Variant of Concern,VOC),并命名为Omicron。


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外文全称:Magdalena Andersson



外文全称:Rumen Radev




外文全称:Abdalla Hamdok


背景介绍:据路透社11月24日报道,苏丹新复职的过渡 *** 总理阿卜杜拉·哈姆杜克表示,他预计新 *** 将在两周内组建。上个月,哈姆杜克和数名 *** 部长被军方扣押。近日,军方宣布恢复他的总理职务。哈姆杜克出生于1956年,于2019年出任过渡 *** 总理。

外文全称:Jerome Powell




The Magic of Bad Photos


Pamela Paul 帕梅拉·保罗

t's rare to see a bad photo today. If, by chance, a bad photo is taken and cannot be filtered, edited, or otherwise enhanced into something visually acceptable, it is swiftly deleted.

It wasn't always like this. Bad pictures used to abound in what could seem like an almost deliberate, karmic attempt to humiliate and haunt their imperfect subjects. Back when the one-click Kodak dominated, most pictures were not worth keeping. No one could figure out how to operate the focus. Hardly anyone knew when to turn off the flash, or how. Few people had any aesthetic sense.

You never knew what you would get once the little button was clicked. You had to wait to find out, usually a week or longer, until 24-hour photo shops were introduced. You'd head back to a Fotomat after having dropped off the little black plastic roll, full of hope,barely remembering what was on there,because film was precious and the roll may have taken months to complete,especially if it was a 36 rather than a 24, only to open the envelope and discover one blurred atrocity after another.

Browsing through photo albums from this time is like encountering a dark period from an inexplicable and occasionally brutal-looking past, one in which everyone cried at parties and scowled through reunions. No one ever thought to bring a camera along on those rare moments when you were looking your best. School pictures routinely documented the horror. Your braces. The uneven middle part. That mottled gray backdrop. You might try to hide the telltale 8-by-10 envelope from your parents—of course they'd ordered an overpriced set—but they'd keep the photos anyway, as if out of spite.

From this angle, it was impossible to fathom the impending dominance of the selfie. Who knew how much people would adore taking pictures of themselves? That teenagers, a traditionally awkward and self-conscious set, could spend entire afternoons posing and perfecting shots of themselves. That seniors worldwide would love selfies so much, tour buses would make stops not for plain old photos of landscapes and landmarks but for pictures of the tourists themselves.

And yet. Snap-happy people today seem to miss something about those less inhibited, less groomed days. Young digital types have taken up the popular Dispo camera app, which forces its users to wait until 9 a.m. the following day before photos“develop” and they can view the damage. Dispo calls itself a “live in the moment” social-media product—no editing, no hashtags, no captions. Is it possible that bad photos showed us something we wanted or needed to see?


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