weekly photo challenge: foreshadow

Tuesday, August 6:  This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is foreshadow.

In a post created specifically for this challenge, post a photograph that evokes FORESHADOW to you.  Foreshadow means to show, indicate, or suggest in advance; presage.

Krista Stevens of WordPress writes: This challenge offers some fun opportunities to play — not only with the subject of your photo, but with light, color, and contrast to evoke foreshadow. Perhaps foreshadow is an open bottle of red wine and two wine glasses. Maybe it’s a diamond ring in small velvet box. Maybe it’s a flower bud about to burst into bloom, or the first leaf that turns color on your oak tree. What does foreshadow mean to you? Looking forward to seeing the creative ways in which you portray foreshadow in your posts.

A couple of things have happened since I returned to the USA, which foreshadow changes in the way we’ll read in the future.  Of course, changes in media have already been sweeping the world, but these particular events foreshadow the eventual demise of print media, such as newspapers and books.  For those of us who love the feel of paper and the bulk of a book in our hands, this presages the destruction of a way of life that we hold dear.

This is not exactly great photography, but it does represent the word foreshadow to me.  Yesterday, our venerable area newspaper, The Washington Post, was sold to Amazon.com founder and chief executive officer Jeffrey P. Bezos for $250 million in cash.  The Amazon founder will become the sole owner of the newspaper, but the Seattle-based Amazon will have nothing to do with the running of the newspaper.

The August 6 headlines from yesterday's sale of the Washington Post
The August 6 headlines from yesterday’s sale of the Washington Post

According to an article in The Post, “the newspaper has been Washington’s leading newspaper for decades and a powerful force in shaping the nation’s politics and policy… The institution has covered presidents and local communities and gained worldwide attention for its stories about the Watergate scandal and, in June, disclosures about National Security Agency surveillance programs.”

In the last decade, the paper has suffered the same financial woes that have befallen other newspapers.  The rise of the internet and the change from print to digital technology have created intense competition for traditional news companies, and The Post has not been immune to these forces.

The Graham family has run The Washington Post for 4 generations and this may well foreshadow a major change in the landscape of Washington politics and news reporting.

If you’d like to read more about the sale of Washington’s famous newspaper, please see:

Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon
Forbes: Washington Post Will Sell Newspapers To Jeff Bezos, Change Company Name
Huffington Post: Washington Post Staffers ‘Stunned’ By Sale To Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Hopeful About Future

In the same vein, I returned home from my second year living and working in the Sultanate of Oman to find my favorite Barnes & Noble bookstore in Reston, Virginia permanently closed.   Apparently the bookstore tried to negotiate a lease renewal, and upon failing to receive any reduction in rent, decided to pull up stakes, according to Fairfax-Times.com (Barnes & Noble pulls up stakes in Reston).

this used to be a very popular Barnes & Noble store; now the Container Store will be here
this used to be a very popular Barnes & Noble store; now the Container Store will be here
The vacancy will leave Reston without any retail venues to buy new books. Books-a-Million in Plaza America closed last year.  The Container Store will move into the 25,000 square foot space.