July 5, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Page One explodes with color and Star-Spangled Banner headlines

What’s black and white and red and blue all over? Today’s newspaper.

From Boston to Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., and across the USA, the colors of Independence Day celebrations and fireworks displays decorated today’s front pages.

Some newspapers – including the Los Angeles Times -- used one photo to tell the story. Others, such as the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, used a collage of photos. Whatever the choice, it was “red, white and boom” – as The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer said.

Headline writers were faced with the yearly task of describing the Fourth’s festivities. The results ranged from traditional -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Bombs bursting in air” -- to modern -- The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa.: “Free for 231 years.” Others described the obvious: “Glowing all the way,” “Dazzling display” and “Rockets’ red glare.” A chilly Fourth gave The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., something to play with: “Happy birrrrthday, U.S.A.”

“Of country – and citizenship,” said the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, in reporting that 4,000 people became U.S. citizens. They included 1,000 people who took the citizenship oath at Walt Disney World and 325 foreign-born soldiers who were sworn in during ceremonies in Iraq. The ceremonies were pictured in The New York Times, along with a report that “sharp rise seen in applications for citizenship.”

“Numb with pain,” the Toronto Sun proclaimed after six Canadian soldiers were killed in a roadside blast in Afghanistan. The deaths were Page One news across Canada. “Taliban attack deadliest since Easter,” said The Vancouver Sun, which pictured a young father who was among the dead.

In the United Kingdom, newspapers rejoiced in the release of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who had been held captive in Gaza. “After 114 days in captivity, BBC man celebrates freedom … with a haircut,” The Guardian of London said.

There also were cheers as Sochi, a Russian resort city, was chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. The San Antonio (Texas) Express-News called the first Olympics for Russia “history-making news.” Not making the cut were South Korean and Austrian locations.

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

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