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Washington Post sale bittersweet for employees
SHOTLIST: WASHINGTON, 6 AUGUST, 2013, SOURCE: AFPTV SOUNDBITE 1 Mary Jordan (woman), Washington Post Journalist (English, 10 sec) "I think to a lot of people like myself this is just shocking, shocking news, an enormous amount of sentiment and emotion for the [Graham] family." SOUNDBITE 2 Mary Jordan (woman), Washington Post Journalist (English, 24 sec) "At the same time, I think that the transition is brilliant, because Don was saying - and people believe what Don [Graham] says - that he did this for the Post, and there's a lot of excitement that the guy who created Amazon out of nothing, who has 25 billion Dollars, may come and kind of rescue the industry, because the whole industry's having problems, the print industry, as we all know." SOUNDBITE 3 Doug Feaver (man), Washington Post Reader Representative (English, 21 sec) "I was quite surprised. Some of my colleagues were less surprised, who've been a little closer to what the business situation has been, but I think we were all in a bit of a state of shock in all honesty. I started with the Post in 1969, so I've been here a long time." -WIDE of Washington Post building -MID of employees leaving building -CU of ticker reading "Headlines from The Washington Post... Grahams to sell The Post..." -VAR of Washington Post front page, 6 August 2013 edition, with picture of Post Co. chief executive Donald Graham announcing paper's sale to staff -VAR of Washington Post building --------------------------------------------- ////AFP TEXT STORY: US-Internet-media-takeover-Amazon-WashingtonPost-history Sale bittersweet for Washington Post veterans by Shaun TANDON WASHINGTON, District of Columbia, Aug 06, 2013 (AFP) - Washington Post journalists shared bittersweet thoughts Tuesday after the storied newspaper's sale to the founder of Amazon, mourning the loss of the Graham family's stewardship while hoping for more financial stability. The Graham family earned the intense loyalty of staff after guiding the newspaper for seven decades, including during its most celebrated episode when it uncovered the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon. But with the newspaper industry in free fall since the rise of the Internet, the Graham family said Monday it was selling the capital's biggest newspaper to Jeff Bezos, founder of online bookstore turned blockbuster Internet retailer Amazon. "It's sad, but we're in the survival game," said Bob Woodward, one-half of the Post team that reported the 1972 break-in of the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate building in which the Nixon White House was ultimately implicated. But Woodward, now an associate editor of the Post known for his investigative journalism, was upbeat about Bezos, calling him "one of the real innovators" of the economy. "He understands things in ways that other people don't. He's willing to put a lot of his own money on the line here," Woodward told MSNBC. Woodward contrasted Bezos, who has been reticent on his political views, with News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch, an outspoken conservative whose holdings include The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and The Times of London. "This isn't Rupert Murdoch buying The Wall Street Journal. This is somebody who believes in the values that the Post has been prominent in practicing," Woodward said. Woodward said he had not spoken to Bezos but did not see "any downside" to the $250 million sale. "The Washington Post, I think, spends about $100 million on its news collecting operation. Suppose somebody is now coming in and saying, well, let's double that, let's triple, let's really hyper-invest -- which of course is the Jeff Bezos trademark at Amazon -- and make it better." Carl Bernstein, Woodward's reporting partner during Watergate who has since left the Post, said there was "appropriate sadness" at the loss of the Graham family's leadership. But Bernstein told The Wall Street Journal he hoped that Bezos could revitalize not just The Washington Post "but perhaps the news business itself in combining the best of enduring journalistic values with all the potential of the digital era." Bernstein hoped for the creation of "a profit model that will finance a renaissance of the kind of reporting that is essential for Washington, for American journalism, and for the world. In Twitter and Facebook messages after the announcement, Post staff members showed that they were stunned by the news. Several voiced concern for the newspaper's future, while some joked that they expected discounts at Amazon. Post journalists universally voiced admiration for the Graham family. Donald Graham, the chief executive officer and chairman of The Washington Post Company, is the son of Katharine Graham who led the newspaper during Watergate. In an open letter to Bezos, Post columnist Gene Weingarten wrote: "I think I speak for more than myself when I say that the main reason I have high hopes for your stewardship is that Don Graham said it was the right thing for the paper." Weingarten called on Bezos to follow the Grahams' principle of "kick up, kiss down." "They must have given their board of directors fits, because during the great years they chose aggressive journalism over penny-pinching every time -- and we loved them for it," he wrote. He nonetheless joked that for Bezos, who is estimated to be worth $25 billion, his purchase of the Post was "about as risky and consequential a purchase for you as a used 2003 Honda Civic might be for me." sct/dc
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How To Dress Well - How To Dress Well
HOW TO DRESS WELL BIO Since the release of his debut album Love Remains in 2010, Tom Krell - AKA How to Dress Well - has crafted a reputation as one of America’s most original, focused and beguiling young songwriters. Merging ever surprising production choices and aesthetic detail with a sensual but sincere R&B influence and a deep, grounded emotionality, Krell has steadily established himself as one of the most influential figures in contemporary experimental pop music and a new How to Dress Well release has become something of an event. Arriving two years after the haunting, glacial neo-soul of 2012’s much-loved Total Loss, “What Is This Heart?” is the next step in this most unique and searching artistic trajectory. Its twelve songs were conceived and written during months of grueling international touring and realized with co-producer Rodaidh Mcdonald in a Berlin studio in the height of summer 2013. The result is an ambitious 21st century pop album that creates and inhabits its very own hinterland of spiritual fragility, fearless love and sexuality, deep pain, and overwhelming joy. It’s an album that celebrates the possible healing power of American pop music in its various guises while also exploding predictable pop conventions and once again asserts Krell as an artist of great courage, taste and craft. “What Is This Heart?” is a record that delves deeply into the core of the psyche and touches on themes of isolation, loss and existential anguish, but in the end finds something like redemption in the infinite possibilities of love. Its songs tackle feelings of anxiety, fear, lack of control, nightmare, death, pain, pleasure, pride and shame, trust and commitment with an honesty and intimacy that is rare in the contemporary age. “One of the major themes that's stuck in my thinking over the last year and a half is the question of whether or not the contemporary social order has room for love,” says Krell. “It strikes me that the contemporary order truly threatens a really important constellation of basic human emotions, i.e. sympathy for self and other, existentially rooted and rooting sadness, tenderness, and again love. But I've also seen and been in amazing love. Several pairs of my best friends got married this year and in the presence of these ceremonies, witnessing people declare their love for one another out loud, I felt so fundamentally moved.” Teasing a first glimpse of the ground covered on “What Is This Heart?” Krell shared “Words I Don’t Remember” in March. Thematically, the song is signature HTDW: as Krell puts it in his uniquely focused way, “it’s a song about love, trust, commitment. The possibility of 'authentic' love when sentimentality is so co-opted and reified and also the idea of the 'authentic' is totally dubious.” However, with its bracing, up-front vocal, unadorned but poetic language and assured and warm production, “Words I Don’t Remember” is a good representation of the new sonic ground covered by the record itself. It sounds massive yet intimate, merging sounds from Krell’s first two records with something decisively new. If Total Loss saw Krell embracing a new sense of crystalline clarity and bold minimalism in comparison to the intoxicating atmospheric fog which enveloped much of his debut, Love Remains, then “What Is This Heart?” is an even bigger step forward both sonically and thematically. More confident, daring and open than any How to Dress Well release thus far, “What Is This Heart?” is at once Krell’s most deeply personal work and also his most universal in resonance – unifying his prescient understanding of modern production techniques and aesthetics with an increasingly mature songwriting voice that evokes great American singer- songwriters like Bill Callahan and Mark Kozelek as much as it does his numerous, oft-quoted R&B reference points. This is most obvious on album opener “2 Years On (Shame Dream),” a beautiful acoustic guitar ballad that sees Krell at his most emotionally naked, weaving a dream-narrative of a childhood experience in almost uncomfortable close-up in a manner that echoes Elliott Smith’s fragile intensity, but with a more impressionistic poetic sensibility. For Krell, emotional confidence is the key to “What Is This Heart?” – there is no hiding in these songs. “I mean, it's just extremely brave”, says Krell. “I've always been obsessed by a record like ‘For You’ by Tracy Chapman, and although this isn't a whole record of bare acoustic guitar tunes, I tried to bring that openness and unabashed and unashamed quality to everything on this record. I sing clear, I sing loud. It feels important to me, like a really important step”. Krell describes his tastes as being “omnivorous,” and cites Spiritualized, Lou Reed, Prince, Everything but the Girl, and PM Dawn as recent listening that had a profound effect on what is certainly his most eclectic work to date. One can hear the shimmering pads and distant beats of Burial’s most recent work underneath elegiac declarations in “A Power,” one of the record’s darker, more foreboding songs whilst effervescent, almost gospel-like lead single “Repeat Pleasure” is without doubt his most perfect, pure-pop moment to date despite containing one of the album’s most melancholy lyrics, a juxtaposition which in itself neatly encapsulates the How to Dress Well project. Elsewhere, the colossal string swells of “Pour Cyril” revisit Krell’s Love Remains-era dedication to noisey, ambient melodic music though it is paired on “What Is This Heart?” with massive, classical composition and a prayerful, clearly sung centerpiece. Meanwhile, on “Face Again,” over an industrial-inflected beat Krell delivers one of the purest vocal performances he's put to record – sounding like a paranoid Michael Jackson – but also manipulates his own voice throughout the song to sound at one moment like something off Yeezus and at another moment to sound like a Gregorian chorus. Furthering the diversity of sounds on “What Is This Heart?” are “Childhood Faith In Love” and “House Inside” which both dare to venture into early 00’s emo. “Some of the main references for 'Childhood Faith in Love' were songs from that zone and era,” says Krell. “Stuff like Saves the Day, for instance, or 'The Middle' by Jimmy Eat World. Just, like, sad, but joyous and youthful and unashamed about failing and feeling like shit and being in love and letting love move us thoroughly and sweepingly.” It’s a testament to Krell’s enduring skill as a writer and performer and also to his fierce sense of self, that influences as disparate as those exhibited on “What Is This Heart?” can be consumed into such an absorbingly coherent and immediately identifiable whole: yet, this so should not come as a surprise, given that Krell has been confounding expectations, defying genre conventions and starting conversations since the release of his debut EP in 2009. “What Is This Heart?” is a rare album from a rare artist at the top of his game. “This is at once my most extremely personal and most universal record yet,” suggests Krell. “Pushing further in these seemingly opposite directions at the same time has always been my goal. I’ve always believed that in the deepest part of each of our hearts, there where each of us are most specifically ourselves and no one else, that weirdly at that moment we are actually as close as possible to what is universally human--- that in the extreme, the personal is the universal. I think that in asking this question we can go to that place: this is how and why I've asked myself, "What is this Heart?"”
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