April 25, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Discovery of Earth-like planet generates universal interest

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called it “A world-class find.”

Although declining home prices, rising property taxes and an Indiana prison riot were in the news, “Gliese 581 c” was the story most consistently found on today’s front pages.

“Scientists discover an Earth-like planet that could support life,” the Post-Dispatch said. The story gave headline writers something to play with:

  • Chicago Tribune: “A lot like home, yet light-years from Earth.”
  • The Fresno (Calif.) Bee: “The right stuff?”
  • Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa: “Did astronomers find Mother Earth’s distant cousin?”
  • The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City: “There’s no place like home – or is there?”

The brother of former NFL star Pat Tillman was pictured in many newspapers, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, after he told a House committee that the government deliberately misreported details about his brother’s death in Afghanistan. “Deep investigation of false war accounts is promised,” The Dallas Morning News said.

Eye catchers: Who wouldn’t stop to read The Florida Times-Union’s centerpiece on gas prices? “How $4 a gallon would hit your wallet,” Jacksonville’s newspaper said, charting mileage and the costs of trips and weekly commutes. “Could you feed yourself for $3 a day?” The Oregonian in Portland asked after the governor tried to live on a food-stamp budget for a week. It illustrated the story with a receipt from the governor’s trip to the grocery store. The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk packaged two follow-up stories to the Virginia Tech shootings, using text and icons as graphic elements.

Today’s headline: “Sales signal Toyota is in the passing lane,” the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times said about news that Toyota is outselling General Motors.

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

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