July 19, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Potter casts a spell; Vick’s endorsements in jeopardy

The fate of a boy wizard and a wizard of a quarterback dominated the nation’s newspapers today.

Front-page stories from Anchorage to Austria ranged from the mundane to the downright analytical about author J.K. Rowling’s last book in the popular series on Harry Potter.

In a story headlined “Harry Potter and the End of the Line?” Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel discusses what’s in store for young readers when the series ends. The Anchorage Daily News offers “tips for dealing with death in Potter book.” The New Jersey Herald reports on independent bookstores struggling to compete for Potter sales.

The Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal was one of the few newspapers in the country that didn’t flip for Harry Potter. It flipped for Jughead instead. “Jughead Flips for Akron Burger,” the paper boasts in a story on the decision of Jughead Comics to put the city’s second annual National Hamburger Festival on its cover.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s indictment on running a dogfighting ring was big news in Georgia and in his home state of Virginia. “Indicted QB Loses Value as Pitchman,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says of Vick’s sinking endorsements. Hampton Roads, Va.’s Daily Press asks — and explains — “Why is Michael Vick Newsworthy?” USA Today explores the “dark world of dogfighting” in its cover story.

Wednesday’s steam-pipe explosion under Midtown Manhattan was the top story in many newspapers in the state of New York, where bold headlines were reminiscent of 9/11. “The Earth Opened,” says the Daily News.  “Mayhem,” says Metro. “Midtown Volcano!” screams the New York Post. The Poughkeepsie Journal took the straight-news angle: “Grand Central-area steam blast kills 1,” its headline says. Another big story across the country: the Democrats’ failure to get the votes they needed to begin pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.

Finally, the issue of money was discussed on some of the nation’s front pages. The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., focuses on the salaries of Mississippi’s college presidents. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reports on the 2008 presidential candidates who are raising the big bucks. And The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., highlights the 2008 campaign’s top fundraisers in Pennsylvania and the nation.

Sharon Shahid is the Newseum’s senior writer.

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