Volume 50, Issue 7 - July 2015

50 Years

The Sad Business of Covering Tragedy

As USGlass enters its 50th year, the magazine’s editors are taking a look back at how topics and issues have changed throughout the years.

Whenever there is a natural or other type of disaster, glass seems to be part of the story. Here’s a look at how our editors have covered tragedies over the years and how glass was often part of the landscape. You will note that much of our coverage of disasters occurred in the past 15 years or so. That speaks volumes about the advent of the Internet and covering breaking news online. For many of these stories, they started online, then were expanded for print.

The world stopped when a plane hit the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. USGlass tore up its September issue to cover this catastrophic event. Again, the story didn’t end with this tragedy, and our coverage of the debris and its impact on surrounding buildings continued. USGlass followed the rebuilding of the World Trade Center and the mountain of controversy surrounding the glass that would ultimately be installed in this symbol of freedom. In fact, the 2009 investigative report of the rebuilding of Tower 1 was nominated for a prestigious Neal Award from the American Society of Business Media.

In September 2005, USGlass investigated building damage post-Katrina. When a storm has such a huge impact, the story continues. In fact, look to page 30 of this issue for an update on Katrina almost ten years later. Find out how the storm served as a call to action for the building codes in Louisiana and
surrounding states.

In May 2011 a record number of tornadoes were setting down across the U.S., including the devastating tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., on May 22. Despite the seemingly unending string of tornadoes that year, the industry didn’t seem to be changing to offer more impact-resistant products that could be used in these applications as depicted in our July 2011 cover story. We looked at this issue again in June 2012 with a comprehensive cover story on hurricane and tornado glazing.

When the devastating school shooting occurred on December 4, 2013, in Newtown, Conn., almost immediately some started blaming the glass. Could it have prevented the attack? How should school designs change following this attack? USGlass devoted an entire issue to this topic in May 2013. It was the winner of the prestigious Boger Award in 2014, which is bestowed by the Construction Writers Association.

When a bomb went off at the Boston Marathon, our editors Penny Stacey and Megan Headley immediately started covering the attacks. They even had first-hand reports from USGlass publisher Debra Levy, who was attending her first Boston Marathon as a spectator. The article seen here detailed how glaziers stepped up to aid in the recovery efforts, which included broken glass.

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