As a New Yorker, I’m finding it very hard to feel mentally recovered from Superstorm Sandy’s effects, with parts of the city still without power and many of our neighbors and fellow citizens continuing to be so firmly in the grip of real distress.
Powerfully underscoring that unsettled feeling was the above-the-fold photo by Reuters’ Adrees Latif on the front page of The New York Times last Tuesday showing a young woman in what appeared to be everyday street clothes any one of us would wear on the subway on our way to work, making her way through the blackened and twisted wreckage of what had been a Breezy Point neighborhood. She is framed in the background by an illuminated but distressed American flag. The image caught me off-guard in the way that all great photojournalism does—by knocking the wind out of you.
I experienced a similar shock to the system when I first saw New York magazine’s cover of the upper half of Manhattan alight while all of downtown remained shrouded in darkness. I was also moved by the Adweek cover our editors and designers created that week with its more intimate depiction of the struggle to find the power to stay connected to that vital resource: social media.
All this, of course, speaks to the power of media, both old and new, to elicit emotion and spur connections and action. I know companies and individuals working in advertising, media and marketing have contributed both time and money to help with post-Sandy relief efforts, and I encourage more outreach to speed aid in time for the holidays, which begin with Thanksgiving this week.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Frank Ginsberg, the founder and chairman of AFG&, and Quad/Graphics sales manager Tom Albanese and service manager Deborah Friel, who welcomed Adweek staffers into their offices to publish while our HQ at Astor Place was without power. That spirit of generosity during this trying time will not be forgotten, and I hope it quickly finds its way to that woman in the Times photo as she and others like her battle to rise from the ashes in Breezy.