Krisanne Johnson
By Mikko Takkunen
December 9, 2013

Features and Essays

When Mark Fields was leading the team given the task of redesigning Ford’s most cherished car, the Mustang, he clearly understood the difficulties of following a legend. “You have to have a lot of passion and emotion in this business,” he told me at the time, “and I would just term it a combination of pride, a sense of pride to be able to reinterpret the icon of the company, but also a good degree of angst. Because we don’t want to be known as the team that screws it up.” He didn’t. The new Mustang is a beauty. Now he’s following another legend, although this time it isn’t a car, it’s Alan Mulally, the former Boeing executive who led Ford out of the automotive abyss since becoming CEO in 2006. Fields, who becomes CEO July 1, has been along for the ride, helping to overhaul everything short of the blue oval emblem. Mulally, 68, is leaving six months earlier than planned, saying Fields is ready to take the job; Ford was also getting pressure from investors after Mulally's dalliance with Microsoft about taking the top job there. Mulally and Ford executive chairman Bill Ford stopped by Fields’ office Wednesday just after noon to give him the good news, which was announced Thursday. “It was a really precious moment,” Fields told TIME just hours after the announcement Thursday. “Alan said: 'First off, congrats.' And that he is so happy for Ford and for me and for a smooth transition. This is the first time in, literally in our history, of having a seamless [leadership] transition. There were smiles all around.” Transition at Ford has been something of a blood sport from the getgo. Henry Ford, Bill’s great-grandfather, was eventually pushed out of the company he founded. In some respects, Fields’ career arc has happened in reverse of the usual order of things. He’s not the kind of executive who works his way up by taking a series of ever bigger jobs. Instead, Fields has been packed off to every corporate minefield Ford managed to bungle into, and steered the company into the clear. “Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO,” Bill Ford said in a statement. Fields, 53, has been running Ford’s North and South American businesses since October 2005. In North America, Ford, like other members of the Big Three, was losing tons of money making automobiles. Fields led a team that resized its manufacturing to its market share, and began to spend heavily on new products. He pulled off a similar overhaul in South America. At the top of the food chain, Fields was group vice president, Premier Automotive Group (PAG), which is the collective of Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin that former CEO Jac Nasser had assembled to broaden Ford’s portfolio—given that Lincoln was flailing. At the bottom end of the market, Fields helped run Mazda Motors, then one-third owned by Ford, from 1998 to 2002, to restage the compact car company to compete with Toyota and Honda. Success in small cars is as critical to Ford’s future as are F-150 pickups. When Mulally came on board in September, 2006, he quickly began disassembling the company’s global brand portfolio to concentrate on the blue oval. He sold off the luxury group, snuffed Mercury as a brand and launched a plan called One Ford that set out to simplify the company, lower costs, and produce better cars around the world. Focusing on global brands such as Fiesta, Fusion and Focus, the idea was produce distinctive cars using a fewer number of platforms than in the past. And building say, a Fusion, the same way around the world would mean lower parts costs and better overall quality. “We made a commitment to serve all the markets around the world with this complete family of best-in-class vehicles with the freshest showroom," Mulally told me late last year. "And we've achieved that for the last few years." As boss of the Americas operations, Fields was Mulally’s partner in this process. The key management feature to the turnaround is what has now become a famous Thursday meeting—two hours or so in which the CEO gets a no-nonsense rundown from every sector of the business. In the first couple of these meetings, Ford’s executives were less than forthcoming with the data and suggested that things were fine. “You guys lost $14 billion last year,” Mulally told them. “Is there anything not going well here?'" Fields bought into the fess-up-and-fix-it culture, and eventually took over running the meetings. Now there is a lot going well at Ford. The company says it will generate an operating profit of $7-to-$8 billion this year. Managing a successful company might be an entirely different proposition for Fields, and he’s wary about being anything but aggressive. “The way we run the company now, in terms of looking at every Thursday morning and talking about the business environment and understanding what’s happening, economic-wise, customize-wise, competitor-wise," he said. "It’s a great mirror to look at and tell ourselves that we cannot let up one iota.” It would also be hard to do at this point, given that Ford is launching 23 vehicles worldwide this year, including 16 in the U.S. alone. And there also has some problems to be solved. The company is still losing money in Europe, although losses have been cut substantially. South America is another loser. And there are some issues, to say the least, with its business in Russia. China, on the other hand, is a growth machine for the company. Mulally, who will leave Ford’s board, is expected to pop up at a leadership or board role somewhere else. He has way too much energy to go and park himself. “The most important that Alan taught me about was the power of positive leadership,” Fields said. Calling Mulally positive is like calling Niagara Falls a waterway. The man gushes good cheer while demanding great results, which is not a common formula in the corner office. Fields is not as naturally effervescent as Mulally, but he can see that traditional, top-down command-and-control management isn't the way forward at Ford. “My approach: I’d rather be sunshine to the plant than salt water to the root," Fields says. "It’s more fun, even though there might be a lot of challenges. But you end up end with a better solution.”
Krisanne Johnson

Krisanne Johnson: Mandela’s Legacy: The Born Frees (The New Yorker) During the past two years, the photographer Krisanne Johnson travelled across South Africa documenting the Born Frees, the first generation of the so-called rainbow nation

Rena Effendi: Courage in Congo (Institute)

David Degner: Sha’abi Music (Reportage by Getty Images) Sha’abi music (literally translating to the music of the ‘poor’) is the new anthem of a new Egypt

NAACP Los Angeles chapter president Leon Jenkins resigned his position in the organization on Thursday after controversy erupted over his plan to award the now disgraced owner of the L.A. Clippers a lifetime achievement award for promoting civil rights. Jenkins had planned to give Donald Sterling the illustrious honor on May 15, before racist remarks made by the Clippers owner were leaked to the press late last week. In a letter sent to the organization’s CEO on Thursday, Jenkins said his decision was made to safeguard the “history and reputation” of the NAACP. “In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP,” wrote Jenkins in a letter to the organization’s interim president Lorraine C. Miller. The decision to award Sterling the lifetime achievement prize drew some ire because of his troubled history with race relations. In 2006, Sterling was on the receiving end of a lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department over alleged housing discrimination. In 2009, the real estate magnate paid out $2.7 million in a settlement over similar allegations. Sterling was already the recipient of an award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP in 2009 — the first year of Jenkins' presidency. Earlier this week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned the Clippers owner from the NBA for life and fined Sterling $2.5 million. Silver also stated publicly that he wants the league's board of governors to force Sterling to sell the franchise.
Jerome Delay / AP

Jerome Delay: Clashes Sweep Central African Republic (AP Big Story)

William Daniels: Bloodshed in Bangui: A Day That Will Define Central African Republic | The Crisis in the Central African Republic (LightBox) Two sets of photos by William Daniels documenting the country in turmoil

Bryan Denton: Out of Syria, Into a European Maze (NYT) As war rages on, more refugees are risking a journey to what they hope will be prosperous new lives

Khaled Hasan: Syrian refugees left in the cold (Al Jazeera) Residents of the Domiz refugee camp in Iraq’s Kurdistan region prepare for winter

Jost Franko: Farming in Gaza (VII)

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Ukraine to remove its military from the southeastern region of Ukraine where pro-Russian militants are fighting with Ukrainian troops. Putin expressed his demands to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, the Kremlin said. “Putin emphasized that it was imperative today to withdraw all military units from the southeastern regions, stop the violence and immediately launch a broad national dialogue as part of the constitutional reform process involving all regions and political forces,” the Russian government said in a statement. Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said on Wednesday that the country's security service no longer has control over the region where armed separatists have taken government buildings. Rebels in Donetsk have declared a "People's Republic of Donetsk" and called a referendum on secession for May 11, just before the planned election for President two weeks after. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian National Information Agency said that pro-Russian militants captured a police station and the state prosecutor's office in Donetsk on Thursday, according to the New York Times. Turchynov announced he would be reinstating military conscription on Thursday for men between 18 and 24 in an effort to restore public order. Russia denies working with the separatists and says it has no troops in eastern Ukraine. However, Putin also said there was no Russian presence during the annexation of Crimea, then later admitted there was. Meanwhile, Russia held its first large May Day parade in Moscow's Red Square since the Soviet era. Workers cheered President Putin and many carried signs referencing Ukraine. "I am proud of my country," one banner said, according to Reuters. "Putin is right," another read. [NYT]
Emanuele Satolli / Parallelozero

Emanuele Satolli: The World’s Deadliest Drug: Inside a Krokodil Cookhouse (LightBox) Satolli has spent the past year chronicling a group of Russians addicted to krokodil, a lethal opiate made with ingredients from hardware stores and pharmacies that causes skin to become scaly, rot and fall off the bone

Rob Hornstra: The Sochi Project (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth)

Mikhail Mordasov: In Olympic Sochi, a Photographic Pregame (NYT Lens)

Misha Friedman: Mind Games: Anand vs Carlsen (Project website) Friedman photographed the two master chess players before their championship match

Jerome Sessini: Romas in France (Magnum)

Stuart Franklin: Ruling The Waves (FT Magazine) Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin’s images of British tidal power

Adam Patterson: The River (Dazed and Confused) Photographer Adam Patterson has directed a portrait of Dublin’s most infamous estate: Tallaght

Pay phones, what are they good for? Creating one of the largest free public wi-fi networks in the country, of course. That was the vision laid out by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday, in an announcement that could transform those familiar relics of 20th century communication into next-generation broadband hubs. New York City has issued a request for proposals designed to create a network of Internet hot spots that will blanket the Big Apple's five boroughs with free wireless Internet access. If successful, the effort could provide a blueprint for other big cities, at a time when municipalities around the country are racing to provide better Internet connectivity for citizens. The city has been toying with the concept of transforming pay phones into wireless hot spots for years. The previous administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a pilot project to explore the idea, but de Blasio's announcement injects new energy into the plan. “For years, the question was, ‘What to do with payphones?’ and now we have an answer," de Blasio said in a statement. "By using a historic part of New York’s street fabric, we can significantly enhance public availability of increasingly-vital broadband access, invite new and innovative digital services, and increase revenue to the city -- all at absolutely no cost to taxpayers.” Today, New York City's pay-phone kiosks basically function as advertising billboards, some of which contain usable pay phones. Under current city contracts, three big companies -- Van Wagner Kiosk Advertising, Titan Outdoor Communications and Telebeam Telecommunications Corporation -- control 84% of the kiosks, according to the New York Times. Those contracts expire this year. Under de Blasio's plan, new contracts would be issued "for the installation, operation, and maintenance of up to 10,000 public communication points distributed across the five boroughs," the city said in a statement. "Mayor de Blasio has made making New York City the most wired city in the world a policy," says Andrew Rasiej, Chairman of the NY Tech Meetup and a longtime advocate on city tech issues. "As a result, the administration wants to take advantage of every feasible piece of city-owned infrastructure to make that possible." The city says the new franchise will produce $17.5 million in guaranteed annual revenue for city coffers through the end of June 2026. Potential franchisees could include big wireless companies like AT&T or Verizon Wireless, which would make money through the existing billboards as well as digital advertising. Last year Google introduced a plan to provide free public wi-fi in the southwest Chelsea neighborhood near its mammoth headquarters. In addition to free wi-fi, the revamped kiosks -- which could contain solar-energy cells -- will continue to offer traditional phone service, as well as free 911 and 311 calls. They could also contain free cell-phone-charging stations as well interactive touch screens that provide local information or facilitate business transactions. "We’re very happy to see this administration take such a bold step forward in promoting ubiquitous free WiFi Internet access," Dana Spiegel, Executive Director of NYCwireless, said in a statement. "If this is any indication of things to come, we’re very excited about the city’s commitment to open, competitive and innovative solutions to bring the Internet to everyone."
Sim Chi Yin / VII Mentor Program

Sim Chi Yin: China’s Polluted Steel Town (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth) Handan, one of the ten most polluted cities in China

various photographers: Modern Day Slavery (NOOR) Group project on slavery by NOOR photographers Pep Bonet, Nina Berman, and Jon Lowenstein

Noriki Takasugi: Samurais in Fukushima (Wired) For more than 1,000 years people of Fukushima Prefecture in Japan have gathered every summer to celebrate an ancient tradition of the samurai

Katie Orlinsky: Bought and Sold (Reportage by Getty Images) Trafficking and illegal migration in Nepal

NAACP Los Angeles chapter president Leon Jenkins resigned his position in the organization on Thursday after controversy erupted over his plan to award the now disgraced owner of the L.A. Clippers a lifetime achievement award for promoting civil rights. Jenkins had planned to give Donald Sterling the illustrious honor on May 15, before racist remarks made by the Clippers owner were leaked to the press late last week. In a letter sent to the organization’s CEO on Thursday, Jenkins said his decision was made to safeguard the “history and reputation” of the NAACP. “In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP,” wrote Jenkins in a letter to the organization’s interim president Lorraine C. Miller. The decision to award Sterling the lifetime achievement prize drew some ire because of his troubled history with race relations. In 2006, Sterling was on the receiving end of a lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department over alleged housing discrimination. In 2009, the real estate magnate paid out $2.7 million in a settlement over similar allegations. Sterling was already the recipient of an award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the NAACP in 2009 — the first year of Jenkins' presidency. Earlier this week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned the Clippers owner from the NBA for life and fined Sterling $2.5 million. Silver also stated publicly that he wants the league's board of governors to force Sterling to sell the franchise.
Peter Hove Olesen

Peter Hove Olesen: Haiyan Aftermath (zReportage) Philippines

Marcelo Pérez del Carpio: Raising Coca and Hopes in Bolivia (NYT Lens)

Jon Lowenstein: Chile’s Enduring Rifts, Part III (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth) Exploring the ways in which the country has recently begun to confront its past

Dominic Bracco II: A Contested Election in Honduras (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth)

Musuk Nolte: An indigenous group under threat (CNN Photo Blog) Peru

Mauricio Lima: Reinventing Rio de Janeiro (NYT) A divided Rio de Janeiro, overreaching for the world

Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky: Blood, Sweat and Jaguars (Panos Pictures) Catholic Holy week in small mountain communities of Acatlan and Zitlala in the Mexican state of Guerrero

An attempt to create a banking system for Colorado's now legal marijuana businesses survived only a few hours before being effectively killed off Thursday. The plan, which would have created a credit union for pot-related businesses unable to gain access to the regular banking system, cleared a state legislature committee early Thursday, paving the way for the world's first financial system for the bud trade. However, another committee killed the plan shortly after by amending the bill to require Colorado to keep trying to find a way for the marijuana businesses to enter mainstream banking. Weed firms in Colorado and Washington, the two states that have legalized marijuana, have struggled finding a way to handle the large amounts of cash that they make, because the funds are derived from a substance that remains illegal under federal laws. In February, the Justice and Treasury departments issued guidance suggesting that banks could offer basic services to marijuana dealers, but financial institutions remain extremely wary. Consensus is growing that it will take an act of Congress to change the situation. "I have long said the issue cannot be solved at the [state] Capitol, and I don't hold the current Congress in high esteem to get anything done," the bill's co-sponsor Pat Steadman told the Denver Post. "But this bill would lay it squarely at their feet and force the conversation."
Carlos Javier Ortiz

Carlos Javier Ortiz: Life After Death in Chicago (NYT Lens) Ortiz has been documenting the effects of violence in urban areas, going into homes and neighborhoods that have been often overlooked

John Moore: An Immigrant’s Dream, Detained (NYT Lens) As the United States deports record numbers of immigrants, John Moore looks at a newly opened detention center

JT Blatty: Fishing in the Louisiana bayou (CNN Photo blog)

Vittoria Mentasti: The Inuit of Nunavut (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth) Mentasti’s photos of the Inuit people of Nunavut, the northernmost region of the Canadian Arctic

Thomas Gardiner: Canada’s Wild West (Slate Behold) Small towns in western Canada

Articles

Long before The Amazing Spider-Man premiered in the summer of 2012, the reboot had plenty working against it. “Too soon!” cried fans of Sam Raimi’s well-received Tobey Maguire trilogy, which concluded just five years before. “Too green!” cried skeptics of Marc Webb, whose directorial debut with (500) Days of Summer made him an unlikely choice to helm the superhero story. Even its star, Andrew Garfield, had his doubts about stepping into such an iconic role, though the British actor’s inner child — Garfield dressed up as Spider-Man for his very first Halloween — eventually won out. “I have reservations about getting out of bed every morning,” Garfield says. “What the hell is going on? What is this weird rock that we’re on, floating through the universe? It’s scary out there. I may as well do something. We may as well tell a Spider-Man story.” He made the right choice. Garfield’s turn as awkward, tongue-tied Peter Parker was irresistible, and his on-screen chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy proved electric, transforming the action-packed franchise into something moviegoers had yet to see: Spider-Man as an earnest rom-com unexpectedly dressed up in all the extravagance and special effects of a summer blockbuster. “Hopefully it wasn’t so secretly,” Webb says. “Spider-Man has always had a strong romantic component to it. That part of his personality is something we all hopefully go through and makes Peter Parker relatable and interesting.” When it came time to prepare for the sequel, Webb says he had one goal in mind: capture the thrill of the source material. “I had a very specific intention at the beginning of the film to embrace the spectacle,” he says. “Not, ‘I just want to make it bigger than ever!’ That comes from a feeling, it comes from being a kid and reading comic books and leaning back between panels and imagining yourself doing the things Spider-Man was doing.” It certainly shows. When audiences reunite with Spider-Man this weekend, the thrill-seeker is flying through the streets of Manhattan stopping a colorful car chase while meandering to his alter ego’s high school graduation. Reboots are about setting up a universe and telling an origin story; sequels, on the other hand, are about letting loose and having some fun. “We felt liberated,” producer Matt Tolmach says. “Now we’re free to tell a Spider-Man story in whatever we want to tell it.” First, that meant giving the sequel a light-hearted energy: Spider-Man serves up hammy one-liner after one-liner throughout the movie, showcasing a more humorous side to the character that longtime Spidey fans will recognize from the original comics. To inject some physical comedy in the movie, the crew spent weeks trying to recreate an iconic Buster Keaton gag while Garfield studied the movements of Bugs Bunny, Charlie Chaplin, Muhammed Ali and Usain Bolt and practiced “ridiculous contemporary dance” with choreographers to capture the agility of his arachnid namesake. “The potentiality of a spider’s movement is it can be here and it can over there in a split second,” Garfield says. “The lightness and stillness it can achieve is balletic and so beautiful to witness. I hope it’s not just a guy in a suit beating people up.” The other goal of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Tolmach says, was to flesh out Oscorp, the mysterious research corporation that becomes a hotbed of evil and science experiments gone wrong. The film has several new villains — Jamie Foxx as Electro, Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn and the Green Goblin, Paul Giamatti as the Rhino — and the trailer for the movie makes clear allusions to Doc Ock and Vulture, paving the way for the Sinister Six and Venom spin-offs the producers are planning for after the reboot’s third installment in 2016. When it came to reimagining Electro and the Green Goblin, Webb left a lot of it up to the actors themselves. Foxx says it was his idea to make Max Dillon, who becomes Electro after falling into a tank of supercharged eels, the “first black man with a comb-over,” while DeHaan’s vision for Harry Osborn helped him land the role in the first place. During screen tests, stylists planned to slick back his hair and dress him in suits as they had done for other actors, but DeHaan surprised them when he opted for the look of a “trust-fund baby hipster kid” he felt better modernized: swoopy bangs and sleek blazers. “It was a risk, but it was worth taking,” DeHaan says. “Why not bring to the table everything you have to offer and see if they buy what you’re selling, rather than try to be the best version of what you think Sony wants Harry Osborn to be?” Unlike the first film, which shot primarily in Los Angeles, the crew took to the streets of New York City to bring the film back to the comic books’ original home. New York makes several appearances in the film, partly by accident — in trying to capture the intimate moments between characters on such a large set, the production picked up the ambient sounds of the city, including trucks, sirens and even the crowds that gathered to watch the set. “Marc does such a good job of making you feel like you’re making an independent movie even though the movie you’re making is Spider-Man,” DeHaan says. But the city has a prominent role in the action, too. As Electro comes to terms with his powers, he almost destroys Times Square (well, an extremely detailed replica built on a backlot in Queens) and nearly plunges New York into a blackout that may seem all too familiar post-Hurricane Sandy. Though the filmmakers avoided making the film too dark — Foxx says they cut a scene where Max electrocutes and kills his mother out of concern for kids — treating the city as almost another character lends a real gravitas to a film intended to be more light-hearted than its predecessor. “You can’t have sunshine without having absolute darkness,” Foxx says. The heart of the film, of course, remains Peter and Gwen. While Peter, who promised Gwen’s dying father he’d stay away from his daughter, struggles with his conscience in their on-again, off-again relationship, Gwen Stacy is having it all: she’s valedictorian, she’s interning at Oscorp, and her science background ends up coming in handy as she occasionally puts some brains behind Peter’s brawn. But don’t mistake her for just a vulnerable love interest — while filming an emotionally charged breakup early in the movie, Stone says she originally ugly-cried her way through the scene before Webb instructed her to portray a stronger side of Gwen. “They never insinuated for a second that she was a damsel in distress,” says Stone, who says she brushed up on biology with a Columbia researcher to prepare for the role. “She’s so set on following her destiny and she knows what she wants out of life. She has a lot of clarity where Peter has a lot of messiness.” That may be what ultimately drives the two apart. Gwen’s academic success earns her a scholarship to England, and then there’s the question of whether or not she’ll die in this film as she does in the comic book — The Amazing Spider-Man’s chief source material is 1973’s issue 121, otherwise known as “The Night Gwen Stacy Died.” The idea of watching their love story end may be tough to swallow for fans of a superhero movie that found success by being unusually superhuman, but that’s also what keeps audiences coming back to Peter Parker movie after movie. “If it was too easy, we wouldn’t want to watch him,” Garfield says. “The wonderful thing about Peter is that he is all of us, and he goes through the same struggles we go through — he just goes through them in the course of two hours as opposed to two years.”
Pete Souza / White House

AP and other news orgs call for greater White House access (AP)

Obama’s White House takes image control to a new level (Washington Post)

Limit on Access Stirs Tensions Between White House Photographer and Press Corps (NYT) By the paper’s public editor: When White House Photos Are ‘Visual Press Releases’

A 17-year old teenager has been arrested for planning a school massacre and to kill his family, Waseca authorities said/ The male teenager had the resources to carry out the attack and had planned it meticulously, Waseca Police Capt. Kris Markeson told reporters Thursday. "I am very disturbed the amounts of weapons he had," Markeson said during the press conference, stressing that an "unimaginable tragedy" has been avoided. The teenager was planning to carry out the attack within a week or two and is believed to be acting alone, Markeson said. The police arrested the teenager after a civilian tipped off the police about a person behaving suspiciously at a storage facility. When a police officers showed up at the storage facility, he found items commonly used for bomb-making, such as gun powder, a pressure cooker and chemicals. The teenager was brought to the police station for an interview, where he told the police about his plans and handed them the key to the safe where he kept his guns. Upon searching his home, the officers found seven firearms, ammunition, several bombs and a book detailing the attack. The 17-year old male was planning to shoot his parents and his sister, before starting a fire outside of town to distract first responders. He would then head to his school, Waseca High, where he would set off bombs during lunch break and shoot as many students and teachers as he could. In the notebook he made references to the Columbine, Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech school shootings. The teenager told the police wanted to conduct the attack on the anniversary for the Columbine school shootings on April 20th, but postponed it as that was a school holiday, Waseca County News reports. Thursday he was charged with four counts of premeditated first-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree damage to property and six counts of possession of an explosive device and sent to a juvenile correctional facility. He has admitted to having tested explosives in areas around Waseca in late March.
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Photographer Dan Kitwood on documenting the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (In Focus by Getty Images)

Bullit Marquez on typhoon Haiyan: ‘Everything was levelled to the ground’ (Guardian) Filipino photojournalist Bullit Marquez reveals his experiences in the aftermath of the devastating storm that hit the Philippines in November

Waiting for Mandela (AFP Correspondent) Veteran AFP photographer Alexander Joe on photographing Nelson Mandela’s release from prison

Postscript: Saul Leiter (1923-2013) (The New Yorker’s Photo Booth)

Saul Leiter, Photographer Who Captured New York’s Palette, Dies at 89 (NYT) More on Lens blog here

Photographer on New York Times Nipple Photo: ‘It Was an Unplanned Moment’ (New York magazine)

A ‘Powerful’ Image of Breast Cancer Offends Some Times Readers (NYT)

A cautionary tale on the use of a photo (Seattle Times)

Magnum: Social Concerns, Visual Pleasure (NYT Lens) A new book and exhibition explore the photo agency’s efforts since its 1947 founding to remain true to its original mission while nurturing and empowering photographers to do meaningful work

What Does Robert Capa’s “Close Enough” Rule Mean Today? (PDN)

The Month in Photography (Guardian) December’s guide to the best photography exhibitions and books

The cast and crew set out to capture the emotional ups and downs of the comics — and had a little fun along the way

TIME Picks the Best Photobooks of 2013 (LightBox) From Tony Ray-Jones’ ‘American Colour’ and Sebastião Salgado’s ‘Genesis’ to Viviane Sassen’s ‘In and Out of Fashion’ and Marc Cohen’s ‘Dark Knees’, TIME presents the best photobooks of the year

It’s Time to Move (book website) Set during the political uprising in Cairo, Egypt in 2011, the book combines pencil and gouache illustrations by Wieben with Nahr’s documentary photography. The book is partly true and partly lies. It is about the fears, hopes, and observations of a small group of witnesses to the events in Egypt.

Robert Nickelsberg’s Afghanistan (Politico) Nickelsberg has been covering Afghanistan for 25 years. His new book Afghanistan: A Distant War is a look at the turmoil that has rocked Afghanistan for much of recent history | Related interview on BBC here

Books of the Year: Anton Corbijn, Waits/Corbjin (American Photo) When you spend 35 years shooting Tom Waits, anything can happen

Alec Soth’s top 10 photo books of 2013 (Telegraph) Magnum photographer Alec Soth picks his favorite photo books of the year

JH Engström Is About to Release His Fifteenth Photo Book (Vice) Engström’s forthcoming book, Ende und Anfang, is made up of photographs he took at the end of the 20th century while traveling around Europe and the US.

Josef Koudelka’s ‘Wall,’ and More (NYT) New York Times reviews photo books for the holidays

Photographers Banding Together to Help Down-and-Out Colleague (PetaPixel)

‘Identity Crisis’ in Photojournalism (American Journalism Review)

When Mark Fields was leading the team given the task of redesigning Ford’s most cherished car, the Mustang, he clearly understood the difficulties of following a legend. “You have to have a lot of passion and emotion in this business,” he told me at the time, “and I would just term it a combination of pride, a sense of pride to be able to reinterpret the icon of the company, but also a good degree of angst. Because we don’t want to be known as the team that screws it up.” He didn’t. The new Mustang is a beauty. Now he’s following another legend, although this time it isn’t a car, it’s Alan Mulally, the former Boeing executive who led Ford out of the automotive abyss since becoming CEO in 2006. Fields, who becomes CEO July 1, has been along for the ride, helping to overhaul everything short of the blue oval emblem. Mulally, 68, is leaving six months earlier than planned, saying Fields is ready to take the job; Ford was also getting pressure from investors after Mulally's dalliance with Microsoft about taking the top job there. Mulally and Ford executive chairman Bill Ford stopped by Fields’ office Wednesday just after noon to give him the good news, which was announced Thursday. “It was a really precious moment,” Fields told TIME just hours after the announcement Thursday. “Alan said: 'First off, congrats.' And that he is so happy for Ford and for me and for a smooth transition. This is the first time in, literally in our history, of having a seamless [leadership] transition. There were smiles all around.” Transition at Ford has been something of a blood sport from the getgo. Henry Ford, Bill’s great-grandfather, was eventually pushed out of the company he founded. In some respects, Fields’ career arc has happened in reverse of the usual order of things. He’s not the kind of executive who works his way up by taking a series of ever bigger jobs. Instead, Fields has been packed off to every corporate minefield Ford managed to bungle into, and steered the company into the clear. “Mark has transformed several of our operations around the world into much stronger businesses during his 25 years at Ford. Now, Mark is ready to lead our company into the future as CEO,” Bill Ford said in a statement. Fields, 53, has been running Ford’s North and South American businesses since October 2005. In North America, Ford, like other members of the Big Three, was losing tons of money making automobiles. Fields led a team that resized its manufacturing to its market share, and began to spend heavily on new products. He pulled off a similar overhaul in South America. At the top of the food chain, Fields was group vice president, Premier Automotive Group (PAG), which is the collective of Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin that former CEO Jac Nasser had assembled to broaden Ford’s portfolio—given that Lincoln was flailing. At the bottom end of the market, Fields helped run Mazda Motors, then one-third owned by Ford, from 1998 to 2002, to restage the compact car company to compete with Toyota and Honda. Success in small cars is as critical to Ford’s future as are F-150 pickups. When Mulally came on board in September, 2006, he quickly began disassembling the company’s global brand portfolio to concentrate on the blue oval. He sold off the luxury group, snuffed Mercury as a brand and launched a plan called One Ford that set out to simplify the company, lower costs, and produce better cars around the world. Focusing on global brands such as Fiesta, Fusion and Focus, the idea was produce distinctive cars using a fewer number of platforms than in the past. And building say, a Fusion, the same way around the world would mean lower parts costs and better overall quality. “We made a commitment to serve all the markets around the world with this complete family of best-in-class vehicles with the freshest showroom," Mulally told me late last year. "And we've achieved that for the last few years." As boss of the Americas operations, Fields was Mulally’s partner in this process. The key management feature to the turnaround is what has now become a famous Thursday meeting—two hours or so in which the CEO gets a no-nonsense rundown from every sector of the business. In the first couple of these meetings, Ford’s executives were less than forthcoming with the data and suggested that things were fine. “You guys lost $14 billion last year,” Mulally told them. “Is there anything not going well here?'" Fields bought into the fess-up-and-fix-it culture, and eventually took over running the meetings. Now there is a lot going well at Ford. The company says it will generate an operating profit of $7-to-$8 billion this year. Managing a successful company might be an entirely different proposition for Fields, and he’s wary about being anything but aggressive. “The way we run the company now, in terms of looking at every Thursday morning and talking about the business environment and understanding what’s happening, economic-wise, customize-wise, competitor-wise," he said. "It’s a great mirror to look at and tell ourselves that we cannot let up one iota.” It would also be hard to do at this point, given that Ford is launching 23 vehicles worldwide this year, including 16 in the U.S. alone. And there also has some problems to be solved. The company is still losing money in Europe, although losses have been cut substantially. South America is another loser. And there are some issues, to say the least, with its business in Russia. China, on the other hand, is a growth machine for the company. Mulally, who will leave Ford’s board, is expected to pop up at a leadership or board role somewhere else. He has way too much energy to go and park himself. “The most important that Alan taught me about was the power of positive leadership,” Fields said. Calling Mulally positive is like calling Niagara Falls a waterway. The man gushes good cheer while demanding great results, which is not a common formula in the corner office. Fields is not as naturally effervescent as Mulally, but he can see that traditional, top-down command-and-control management isn't the way forward at Ford. “My approach: I’d rather be sunshine to the plant than salt water to the root," Fields says. "It’s more fun, even though there might be a lot of challenges. But you end up end with a better solution.”
Oksana Yushko

Featured photographer: Oksana Yushko (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Melissa Golden (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: James Morgan (Verve Photo)

Featured photographer: Ula Wiznerowicz (Verve Photo)

Interviews and Talks

A 17-year old teenager in Waseca, MN has been arrested for allegedly planning to conduct a school massacre and kill his family. The young male had the resources to carry out the attack and had planned it meticulously, Waseca Police capt. Kris Markeson told reporters Thursday. "I am very disturbed by the amounts of weapons he had," Markeson said during the press conference, stressing that an "unimaginable tragedy" had been avoided. The suspect was planning to carry out the attack within a week or two and was believed to be acting alone, Markeson said. The police arrested him after a tip-off about a person behaving suspiciously at a storage facility. Items allegedly belonging to the teen that could have used for bomb-making, such as gun powder, a pressure cooker and chemicals were found there. The suspect was then brought to the police station for an interview, where authorities said he told them about his plans and handed them the key to a safe where he kept his guns. Upon searching his home, officers found seven firearms, ammunition, several bombs and a notebook detailing the attack. Waseca County News reported that the teenager told the police he wanted to conduct the attack on the anniversary for the Columbine school shootings on April 20th, but postponed it as that was a school holiday, On Thursday the suspect was charged with four counts of premeditated first-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree damage to property and six counts of possession of an explosive device and sent to a juvenile correctional facility. He has admitted to having tested explosives in areas around Waseca in late March.
Lynsey Addario / VII

Lynsey Addario (PROOF) “It’s very easy for people to live in their own world … and sort of be very comfortable and I like to make people feel uncomfortable every so often, and realize what they have.” —Lynsey Addario

Mary Ellen Mark (Leica Camera) Nothing more extraordinary than reality

In Chronicling Mandela, Finding Themselves (NYT) The photographers João Silva, David C. Turnley and Louise Gubb remember what it was like to photograph Nelson Mandela’s life

David Guttenfelder (CBS) On working inside North Korea

David Guttenfelder (Pri.org) Guttenfelder on one of his Typhoon Hiayan photographs

The multinational team investigating the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 emphasized Friday that they were closing in on the errant jet, just hours after distraught relatives of passengers were told to go home and that family assistance centers were to be shuttered. “I’m quietly confident that we’re on the right track, but the challenges ahead are huge,” Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters Friday afternoon. The previous day he announced that hotel accommodation was to be rescinded for family members in Malaysia and they would instead be kept abreast of developments by phone, email and text. Initial compensation would also be paid to the bereaved. On Monday, a tripartite meeting will be held in Canberra between Australian, Malaysian and Chinese authorities to discuss the way ahead. Assembled media were told in Kuala Lumpur that examining the expanded search area of 435 by 50 miles in the southern Indian Ocean would eight to 12 months, depending on weather and other variables. MH 370 departed the Malaysian capital for Beijing at 12:21 am on March 8 but vanished from radar screens around 40 minutes later, and none of the 239 passengers and crew have been heard from again. In the absence of any radar tracking, pioneering analysis of hourly maintenance pings by British firm Inmarsat indicates the Boeing 777 crashed somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. Four signals were subsequently heard from the seabed around 1,000 miles northwest of Perth, which investigators believe emanate from the doomed plane’s black boxes. Yet despite a thorough search of the vicinity by unmanned submarine, combined with hundreds of air and surface reconnaissance missions, not a single piece of debris has been positively identified. Earlier this week, Australian firm GeoResonance suggested the southern Indian Ocean theory may be flawed, as multispectral analysis of the Bay of Bengal showed a deposit of metals and other substances consistent with the wreckage of a plane around 120 miles south of Bangladesh. However, Angus Houston, in charge of the joint search operation, played down the credibility of this scenario, while admitting that a three-ship team from Bangladesh are currently looking into this new area with sonar. “I’m confident that the area in the Southern Ocean is the right search area, and I’m sure in the fullness of time we shall find the aircraft in that area,” he said. Hishammuddin went so far as expressing regret over the additional cost, time and distress caused by dividing resources between two different search zones more than 3,000 miles apart. “If we are irresponsible in our approach in going forward with that lead,” he said, “we also have to understand the emotions of the families.” On Thursday, Malaysia’s transport ministry released a report showing a four-hour gap between when MH 370 vanished and the commencement of the search operation. In addition, there were 17 minutes from when the twin-engine plane disappeared from radar and air traffic controllers realizing it was missing. The report also called for the real-time tracking of aircraft and improved batteries for the black box flight recorders. The devices’ beacons currently only last for around 30 days, and this considerably limited attempts to narrow down a search zone in the case of MH 370. The recommendation will now be considered by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Improving black box batteries was backed by Jean-Paul Troadec, the head of the French aviation accident investigation bureau responsible for finding Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009. He was also present in Kuala Lumpur to bolster efforts. “I know that some airlines have acted by their own to increase the duration of the batteries,” he said. “My suggestion is that any airlines does not wait for the requirement from the ICAO to change the batteries on their recorders.” However, this very same recommendation was also put forward after the Air France disaster but never acted upon, aircraft-accident investigator David Newbery tells TIME. During that crash, 228 people died, and the black boxes took two years to recover despite wreckage spotted within hours. “In the aviation industry, because of the certification and the cost and everything else, things happen a lot slower than we would all like them to,” says Newbery. Flight recorders are very complex pieces of equipment built to withstand high G-forces, extreme temperatures and other inhospitable conditions, and exorbitant costs make any improvement unpopular for cash-strapped airlines. “You can’t just put in a different battery and hope it will work,” says Newbery. “It will take some design and testing before this comes out.”
NBC News

David Turnley (NBC) Turnley speaks to Ann Curry about photographing the life of Nelson Mandela | His tribute to Mandela on LightBox here

Dennis Dimick (NPPA) National Geographic’s Executive Editor Dimick talks to NPPA

Hal Buell (BBC) How photographs told the story of the Vietnam War

Massimo Vitali (Vice) Since 1994, Vitali has been taking large format photographs of exotic places where groups of people congregate to communally share in ritualistic leisure activities

James Estrin (PDN) On good photo projects

John Vink (Emaho magazine)

Using Instagram to find and share media with meaning (Journalism.co.uk) Podcast with Peter Bale, vice-president and general manager, CNN International Digital; Paul Moakley, deputy photo editor, Time magazine; Kathy Ryan, photo editor, The New York Times Magazine


Mikko Takkunen is an associate photo editor at TIME.com. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


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