'Leaving Behind All They Own' as Wildfires Ravage Canada 加拿大野火燎原 人民被迫拋棄家園逃生
文/Ian Austen, Amber Bracken, V
Judy Greenwood did not want to leave. But when the evacuation alerts on her phone blared repeatedly and emergency officials knocked on her door, she and her husband loaded their four cats into the car and drove away from their rural hamlet to escape approaching wildfires.
In much of the western province of Alberta, this time of year has long been wildfire season. But this year, a large volume of fires in the boreal forest have come early and have been exceptionally extensive, leading the province to declare a state of emergency.
There have already been 409 fires this season — which typically runs from March 1 to Oct. 31 — an unusually high number. And for residents of vulnerable areas, that has evoked uneasy memories of 2016, when raging flames moved from the forest into the oil sands capital of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
That conflagration forced the evacuation of more than 90,000 people, destroyed more than 2,400 homes and businesses, and disrupted production at the United States' largest source of imported oil. At more than 4 billion Canadian dollars, it remains Canada's most costly disaster.
As was the case during the Fort McMurray fires, many of the current evacuees, a group that includes thousands of members of First Nations communities, have sought refuge in Edmonton, the province's capital and second-largest city.
Uncertainty plagues many evacuees. Thick smoke hanging over many areas has made it impossible to determine through aerial surveys the fate of many houses and other buildings.
"No question that this is a challenging time," Danielle Smith, the premier of Alberta, told reporters Monday afternoon. "Tens of thousands of people have been forced from their homes and their jobs. They're leaving behind all they own, wondering if they will lose everything that they've worked for."
Mike Ellis, Alberta's public safety minister, told reporters that there were limits to what any government or agency could do to extinguish the fires. In past years, a change in weather has ultimately been the only force that has brought blazes under control.
The end of MTV's news operation is part of a 25% reduction in Paramount's staff, Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks, said in an email to staff that was shared with The New York Times.
MTV News and its cadre of anchors and video journalists were the ones to tell young people about the suicide of Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and the killings of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. They brought viewers on the presidential campaign trail. They also embraced the messy chaos of 1990s and early 2000s celebrity. They always put music first.
Through it all, MTV News never strayed from its core mission of centering the conversation around young people.
MTV News broke up the television news environment "in terms of young versus old, hip versus square," rather than the conservative-versus-liberal approach of many cable news networks today, said Robert Thompson, a professor of television and pop culture at Syracuse University. Its influence can be seen in the work of Vice News, the brash digital-media disrupter, and in the hand-held camcorder style of reporting that some CNN journalists have embraced.
The Music Television network debuted in 1981 like a "fuse that lit the cable revolution," Thompson said. Six years later, MTV News came on air under the deep, sure-footed voice of Kurt Loder, a former Rolling Stone editor, who co-hosted a weekly news program called "The Week in Rock."
But it was his interrupting-regular-programming announcement of Cobain's death in 1994 that cemented Loder as "the poet laureate of Gen X," Thompson said.
MTV News tried to set itself apart from other cable news operations in a number of ways, Loder said. MTV News anchors and correspondents did not wear suits. They also weren't "self-righteous" and tried "not to talk down to the audience," he said.