February 20, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Lousy landlord, Carnival played big on small pages

The word “tabloid” used to suggest a special form of newspaper journalism. At least one version of Webster’s Dictionary describes the smaller format, the condensed stories and concludes with reference to the tabloid offering “often sensational material.” In today’s world of the shrinking newspaper page, it’s not always clear whether a newspaper is a tabloid or a shrunken broadside. But let’s take a look at a few of the tabloid-type newspapers on our Web site to see what their world is all about.

For the OC POST in Santa Ana, Calif., the Page One photo is of an airplane hangar, with the warning that “Hangar could be HISTORY,” with details on page 3 and the decision due tonight. The Rocky Mountain News in Denver has a Page One color photo of the Colorado state capitol with the head “There’s no place like dome,” which has been closed since 9/11 and reopens – six steps higher. Florida's Tampa Bay Times has a busy front page, with the major story headed “Squalor & Soirees,” reporting that “While Steven Green’s tenants lived in deplorable conditions, he was being honored for his philanthropy.” Inside stories include one on page 6 teased with “Yep, she’s still got the hiccups.” For Link in Hampton Roads, Va., Page One features a photo of a woman in a Mardi Gras mask and the invitation “Let’s party,” with details on page 8.

For the Daily News in New York City and Newsday out in Long Island, the same story and seemingly the same photo were big Page One items. The photo, titled "LAST SMILE" by the Daily News, was described this way:“2 L.I. women’s faces light up in joyful pose before their lives were snuffed out by maniac gunman in Arizona.”

For the Kleine Zeitung in Graz, Austria – and what better name for a tabloid than “Small Newspaper”? – Page One was full of a color photo of two clownlike characters in a fasching (carnival) celebration to mark the season in proper fashion. Meanwhile, for The Malay Mail in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the BIG Page One story of the day is “’Imported’ brides a hit,” adding “What’s love got to do with it?”.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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