February 13, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Editors look for good news, find N. Korea nuke deal

Maybe it was the seemingly successful search for something positive to say about the world after daily stories about beleaguered Baghdad, Putin’s weekend saber-rattling and everyone’s weird weather, but quite a few dailies today decided to play up the possibility that North Korea may stop trying to build a better bomb.

An unscientific sampling of U.S. dailies showed the North Korean story making Page One and even leading the page. For the Los Angeles Times it was “N. Korea says yes, for now, to a freeze,” while the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock touted “Negotiators reach N. Korea accord” and for The Denver Post the good news was “Korea nuclear accord reached.” The Day in New London, Conn., was cautious with “North Korea deal in works” as was The Washington Post with “Tentative nuclear deal struck with North Korea,” the Chicago Tribune headlining “Deal Near with N. Korea” and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans with “Accord near on North Korean nukes.” The Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., went flat out with “North Korea in deal to end nuclear program” while The Kansas City Star in Kansas City, Mo., showed caution with “Tentative N. Korea accord reached” and The Dallas Morning News said “North Korea deal made.” Finally, compare two Charlestons. The one in South Carolina, where The Post and Courier reminds us that it is “The South’s oldest daily newspaper,” reports “Nations reach N. Korea deal” while the The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia warns that the deal is “tentative.”

Far away and closer to the scene, the English-language The Korea Times in Seoul says that “Energy issue stalls progress in nuclear talks.” A quick check of the region finds nothing about North Korea on Page One of Star in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which caught up with the Dixie Chicks and the Grammys because of the time difference. The New Zealand Herald in Auckland and the Philippine Inquirer in Manila also found other stories better suited for Page One than the North Korea situation.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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