“Tomorrow’s News Today” by Jody Zellen

Screen capture from "Tomorrow's News Today" by Jody Zellen. Collage of images arranged vertically, one next to the other in a black frame that has four lines of white and red text beneath the the image collage. Text: The lines are too small to be read.
Open “Tomorrow’s News Today” by Jody Zellen

This responsive multimedia poem is built from several objects that work together to critique how news is reported and received in print, images, and television. She uses JavaScript to produce a scrolling poem composed of 40 newspaper headlines, each with a link that opens a tiny pop up window with an image that one needs to make interpretive leaps to relate to the headline. The Flash object presents a slices of grainy television images sliced into vertical strips while two text-to-speech voices read news sound bites— television’s equivalent to a headline. Depending on where the reader places the pointer, loudness is assigned to a male voice on the left speakers or a female voice reading on the right. The voices read the same looping text, seemingly in the same order, but starting in different points, and are synchronized to almost take turns, though there are overlaps. Both the scrolling lines of text and the spoken words reveal a prosody of headlines and sound bites: the rhythms of the news.

Conceptually, this piece echoes Ezra Pound’s famous quote “Literature is news that STAYS news” and William Carlos Williams response:

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
		yet men die miserably every day
				for lack
of what is found there.

 

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