OutCasting originated at WDFH FM 90.3, Westchester Public Radio in New York's lower Hudson Valley. In 2005, WDFH produced a reading of the book 09/11 - 8:48 am: Documenting America's Greatest Tragedy, edited by Ethan Casey along with faculty and students of the New York University Department of Journalism. Listen here. Read more below.
A nighttime long-lens view looking down the Hudson River from Riverfront Park in Dobbs Ferry, 20 miles to the north of New York City, taken in 1977. You can see the dark outline of the George Washington Bridge spanning the Hudson River. The Empire State Building and other midtown buildings are to the left of the left tower of the Bridge; the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are seen from this angle as a single large block in the middle of the span. If you're interested in broadcast history, this was before the installation of the antenna mast on the North Tower.
This 1977 photograph was a 10 minute time exposure; the streaks in the sky are airliners approaching Newark Airport. Weird juxtaposition, in light of what happened.
Lower Manhattan, seen from the 86th Floor Observation Deck of the Empire State Building, February 2001. The Twin Towers at the upper right, now showing the antenna mast on the North Tower; the historic Flatiron Building, and below it and to the left Madison Square Park, in the triangular intersection of Twenty-third Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway, in the lower foreground; the Verrazzano Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Staten Island, in the upper left.
Lower Manhattan seen from the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, September 1998.
Same place, a different time. And a different era in our history. The cloud of smoke and dust above where the Twin Towers stood is illuminated in this midnight photograph by worklights being used by the rescue/recovery/salvage workers. Wednesday, September 19, 2001.
The Tribute in Light, some six months after the towers came down, Spring 2002. Twin upward-shining spotlights illuminated the lower Manhattan sky in tribute for about a month from a downtown site near where the towers stood.
Our beloved and wounded New York City on fire. The eerie view looking south along the Hudson River from Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry on September 11, 2001, at about four in the afternoon, showing the plume of smoke from the WTC disaster site. Taken from the same location as the top photo in this series but without the telephoto lens. (The photo at the top of WDFH's home page was taken that day as well, from the same location but looking north up the river.)
As described by Professor Jay Rosen, Chairman of NYU's Department of Journalism, himself a contributor to the book, the selections detail "eyewitness accounts, on-the-ground reportage, personal essays, political argument, public debate," as well as oral history. Rosen articulates the book's “single theme: how to make human sense of what happened."
In the WDFH tribute, readers perform passages from the stirring collection of essays that capture "America's most tragic day…. in the voices of the survivors, witnesses and helpless onlookers of the 'Attack on America,'" and in voices that portray 'the fragile humanity caught at Ground Zero."
The program opens with immediate personal accounts, experiences and responses to the 9/11 attacks, followed by readings that chronicle the difficult days in the immediate aftermath of the assaults. The commemorative broadcast concludes with writings by individuals residing both within and beyond the targeted cities that grasp at meaning, that struggle to interpret the disasters for America and the world.
Readers include Rivertown residents Eileen McMahon of Hastings-on-Hudson, and Paul Trent of Dobbs Ferry. Also in the group are Dr. Nancy Benson of Scarsdale, Rosemarie Murray of Scarsdale, and Rob Stevenson of the Township of Washington, Bergen County, New Jersey. The program was produced by Professors Paul Trent and Marc Sophos, the Executive Director of WDFH/Hudson Valley Community Radio and Media for the Public Good and Executive Producer of OutCasting Media.
We thank Booksurge.com for giving us permission to broadcast readings from the book. We also thank Edward Strauss for his assistance in choosing the music for the program.
Photographs copyright © 1977, 1998, 2001, 2002 by Marc Sophos. Audio copyright © WDFH / Hudson Valley Community Radio, Inc. / Media for the Public Good, Inc. None of this material may be broadcast, distributed, copied, or published in any form without prior written authorization from MFPG.
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