For a generation of American’s traveling in Europe, news was provided by reading the International Herald Tribune. Today it is, perhaps, less so. When I am in Europe these days I tune in to CNN or the BBC. Nevertheless today marks a historic day. Today the International Herald Tribune, after 126 years in print, starting as the Paris Herald merges with the Global Edition of the New York Times to become the International New York Times. This is, however, only the latest incarnation of what remains an important force in the news world but ultimately has an uncertain future.
My interest was piqued yesterday by a story by Serge Schemann in the New York Times about this transition. What caught my eye was not so much the story as an embedded slide show of historic photographs featuring the Herald. These are: Attilio Codognato’s photograph of Andy Warhol reading the Tribune in a Venetian Café in 1977, Raymond Cauchetier’s image of Jean Seberg in Jean Luc Godard’s film “Breatless,” Romanian Soldiers reading the December 25, 1989 edition of the Tribune announcing the fall of the Ceausescu government, and Martin Luther King reading the Tribune during a break at the 1964 Nobel Prize awards in Oslo.
Mr. Schemann sums up the transformation of the International Tribune with “The DNA of a great paper is defined by evolution of the complex and intimate interplay of reader and editor, owner and technology.” This seems to me to be true of the story of modern photography as well.