March 16, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Tournament news a slam dunk for papers with teams, games

Today’s front pages had a wee bit of madness.

In basketball country, The Courier-Journal marked the University of Louisville’s 78-58 win over Stanford with a story, photos and multiple references to coverage inside the newspaper and on the Web. Across the country, the San Jose Mercury News noted Stanford’s loss in a small “Early tournament exit for Stanford, Duke” headline. In a story at the bottom of the page, the newspaper reported on a city crackdown on portable basketball hoops that dot neighborhoods. 

“With St. Patrick’s celebrations, basketball mania converging, city is in a tizzy with March Madness,” said The Buffalo (N.Y.) News, which pictured revelers. The Savannah (Ga.) Morning News was dressed in green in anticipation of its city’s well-known St. Patrick’s Day celebration, but its festive feel was tempered with the news that the body of a missing 6-year-old had been found.

“It’s March Match-ness,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said. “Match Day sets life paths,” the Rockford(Ill.) Register Star said about the annual ceremony that pairs doctors-to-be with residency programs.

The calendar says March, but the Times Union in Albany, N.Y., said: “Spring will just have to wait” as the Northeast braced for a late snowstorm. In contrast, drought conditions in South Florida prompted water restrictions. The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale mapped the conditions and outlined tough new rules.

A calendar item made news in California, where the presidential primary was moved to Feb. 5. “State aims at big role in ’08 race,” The Press-Enterprise of Riverside said. Other states are considering a similar move. Could the result be “A megaprimary?” The Seattle Times asked. The San Jose Mercury News described it as: “Primary Pileup: 800-pound gorilla, California, creates Super Duper Tuesday.”

Gripping image: Some papers followed up on the news that an al-Qaida leader confessed to organizing the 9-11 terrorist attacks and many other plots. The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk focused on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s eyes and asked: “Liar, Mastermind, or Both?”

Hot package: A few front pages noted that this winter was the warmest on record worldwide. The News & Record of Greensboro, N.C., tackled ideas to fight global warming with a “Cool proposals for a hot planet” package.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy, a former newspaper Page One editor, is director/diversity programs.

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