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News & Insight

Tumblr Crossed Arms Portraits and the Declining State of the News Industry

By Jules Ebe on June 5th 2013

25 year-old journalism graduate Jeremy Barr says he didn’t originally set out to create Local People With Their Arms Crossed. Now it’s the internet’s newest Tumblr trend.

“I wasn’t trying to make a statement about photography, I just thought it was fun.” ~ Jeremy Barr


While culling the internet for different Tumblr ideas, Barr found himself scanning, a website which displays the front pages of hundreds of newspapers everyday. He quickly noticed a pattern. A lot of newspapers, especially smaller local ones, were featuring photos of people staring directly into the camera with their arms crossed. The new Tumblr phenomenon was born.

According to Wired magazine, the day the Tumblr started to spread — last Thursday — coincided with the Chicago Sun-Times announcement that they pink-slipped their entire full-time photo staff.

Several talented photojournalists, including Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John H. White, were told they would be replaced by freelancers and iPhone-wielding reporters. But no worries, they would receive iPhone photography training.

I’m curious how many staring, arm crossing photos from Chicago Sun-Times will be added to Barr’s page in the upcoming months?

Local People With Their Arms Crossed

“The pose that says, ‘Hey, look at me. I’m featured on the front of my local newspaper.’ ”



Sorry guys, only Ron Burgundy can really work this look for the news.


For more, check out Local People With Their Arms Crossed. And to check out more about the Chicago Sun-Times announcement, click here.

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

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