Wednesday’s Headlines #1

Behold, hot off the presses, the first edition of ‘Wednesday’s Headlines’, a new weekly international collaboration and compilation of newspaper-themed images shot on the same day across the globe.

Considering the short notice –in most cases less than 48 hours– I’m delighted with this kick-off which features 15 images shot on Wednesday, January 6, 2015 and submitted by 13 contributors from nine countries representing many of the world’s regions.

What is Wednesday’s Headlines?

Quite simply, it’s a collection of images taken each Wednesday that somehow relate to newspapers, submitted to Piran Café and then compiled here and published the following day. Ultimately my hope is that this project will evolve into an insightful interpretation of the relationships that still exist with newspapers in different parts of the world.

These initial images span the gamut and chart an interesting course: from snaps focusing on the headlines themselves to those telling stories about the act of reading, buying and producing newspapers. I’m really looking forward to seeing how that course changes and develops over time.

Many thanks to those who contributed –and to the scores of you who promised to participate next week and in the weeks to come. You’ll be receiving a reminder. 🙂


North America

As the lead photo sent by Diane Duke [ blog | Facebook ] from Chicago suggests, a big story throughout the U.S. yesterday was President Barack Obama’s executive action on gun control.

Given the restrictions on what he can do, the moves will be in practice quite modest, with the thrust of the executive order attempting to broaden the definition of who counts as a gun dealer: more gun merchants, as the GlobalPost notes, will be required to be licensed and to screen buyers. Another front page on the same theme shot on the 6Y Express Bus in Washington DC, sent by Amy Borgstrom, is below.

Washington DC 2016-01-06-Amy B

From Portland, Oregon on the western edge of North America comes this Oregonian front page from Kip Silverman [ website | Facebook ] that focuses on the continuing occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near the rural town of Burns by a group of armed right wing militants.

From the outset of the so-called standoff on Saturday, the militants, led by Ammon Bundy, the son of anti-government militant Cliven Bundy, have been attracting heaps of ridicule — and little support. After inspiring #YallQaeda and #YeeHawd among others to set the 2016 Twitter hashtag standard exceptionally high, the latest to trend is #bundyeroticfanfic. (The latter is great for a few guffaws and loud chortles.)

Portland 2016-01-06

And from between the coasts, Tom Garcia [ Facebook ] sends along this image from Durango, Colorado, illustrating what most people probably imagine that a typical January day in this southwestern Colorado town of 16,000 looks like. It’s a beautiful place; I visited there 25 years ago and am long overdue for a return.

Durango USA 2016-01-06

Meanwhile, checking in from the Austin Public Library’s main branch in Austin, Texas, Camille Wheeler [ blog | Facebook ] reminds us that just as important as the headlines is the ritual and habit of making time to read them. She writes:

As a regular patron of the Austin Public Library’s main branch, the downtown Faulk Central Branch, 76-year-old Howard Ragland has the newspaper drill down: Stand in line outside the building, wait for the library to open, ride the elevator to the second floor, and be the first to snatch the daily Austin American-Statesman off the newspaper rack.

“I need a newspaper because I don’t have a television in my house,” says Ragland, who reads the front page, A1, then flips to the sports section. “I keep up with things a little bit.”

Ragland, who has lived in Austin for 40 years, managed rock bands decades ago. One of his first bands was the Sparkles, a garage rock band that hailed from the small town of Levelland on the Texas South Plains. He now owns and operates a personal taxi service — Howard Taxi — and can carry 15 people in his huge white van. His business card reads: “If you can’t ride with me this time, Smile, Wave, and Holler” And, the card adds: “HOWARD CAN NOW ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS (Tell your friends).

Austin-USA-Jan-2016-01-06 Austin TX USA-2016-01-06 2


We move onward to Europe where likewise, Yuri Rasin [ website | Facebook ] shares a similar scene from Montpelier, France, one illustrating the typical practice and routine of buying newspapers and magazines that is still quite prevalent throughout Europe (and many other parts of the world) today.


Long-time sports writer Olaf Brockmann [ Facebook ] checks in from his office at Kronen Zeitung in the 19th district of Vienna, Austria where the building’s porter shows off the day’s edition of Kronen Zeitung and Kurier.

Brockmann also shared a snap of newspaper vending “machines” used throughout the country on Sundays and holidays (6 January is Three Kings Day, or The Epiphany) which operate on an honor system where you drop a euro’s worth of coins in a box before snagging your copy.

Vienna-2016-01-06- two papers Vienna paper honor box 2016-01-01

Meanwhile here in Slovenia, the focus of the daily Delo was twofold: the quest by ski jumper Peter Prevc to become the first Slovenian winner of the Four Hills Tour in nearly two decades (he won) and the ongoing discussions in Europe about possible changes to the passport-free Schengen border regime in light of recent restrictions imposed by Sweden and Denmark. Slovenia has been a member of the 26-country Schengen Area since December 2007.

Ljubljana Delo 2016-01-06

The Middle East and Asia

Moving south, Mo’ath Alkhawaldeh [ website | Facebook ] from Amman passed along this snap of The Jordan Times where the Syrian refugee crisis has also occupied considerable attention –arguably well before the issue reached a crisis point in western Europe and became a political issue, by comparison a relatively minor one, in the U.S.

Amman 2016-01-06-Moath

And from the Lebanese capital Beirut, Lana Aoude [ Instagram | Twitter ] points out that local papers in the country of four million appear regularly in three languages: Arabic, French and English. The Daily Star was indeed a lifesaver for me during my visit in November.


And rounding out things from Asia in this inaugural edition is Chaitanya Shah [ website | Facebook ] who checks in from Mumbai on The Indian Express.

Mumbai 2016-01-06 Indian Express

South America

Punta Arenas, Chile is one of the southernmost larger cities on the planet (one where I spent 23 hours back in 2013), just big enough to mask just how isolated it is. Here Alejandra Sanchez passes along a weekly paper, which lends itself well to the small town feel Punta Arenas also exudes. No, not an easy city to define. But one everyone should add to their Patagonia itinerary.

Punta Arenas 2016-01-06


While I don’t plan to have too many rules with the Wednesday’s Headlines project, the one I will insist upon is that the images feature newspapers published on Wednesday. After today.

The reasons for this lone exception?

Yesterday was a public holiday in Greece, which meant no papers were published. Pierre Kosmidis [ blog | Facebook ] nonetheless managed to sneak in under the ‘morning after’ deadline with a snap of this morning’s edition of Ta Nea from Athens which reports on Vanessa Redgrave’s visit to a refugee center on the island of Lesvos, so I’m happy to include it. This time. 🙂

Athens GRE 2016-01-07

Thanks again to everyone who participated. To join in next week, and subsequent weeks after that, check out the details here. Please spread the word.


More Stories
Recuerdo Profundo by Jimenez Deredia
Scab Cab Ride