Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Empire State Building jumper: Some poor guy jumped off the Empire State Building last week to his death. Today's New York Times has a soft feature piece on the history of jumpers and also how they've been covered. One item caught my attention as I read the piece.
That is why the city has a kind of procedure for Empire State Building suicides. Witnesses recount the last words and gestures of the dead. The building's managers express sympathy but point out that nearly four million people visit the site a year. And some newspapers illustrate the tragic leap with a graphic of descending dots that often end with an X - as if to say, enough.
Ouch. I really hope the graphic illustrating the effect of gravity was done decades ago and not recently. Note for aspiring visual journalists: if asked by your boss, don't make a graphic like the one described by the Times reporter -- ever.