July 20, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

From arrest to sentencing, crime breaks out on front page

Crime may not pay, but it plays on Page One.

In St. Petersburg, Fla., the photos of five suspects in a loan scam were published at the top of the page. “Investigators describe victims across Florida; then five arrests,” the Times said. In the Pacific Northwest, newspapers pictured a 42-year-old handyman and former Army ranger suspected of serial rape and murder. The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser mapped 27 homicides, and The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville noted: Dad’s curiosity about poker “lands him in jail.” He allegedly left his children in a parked car in the heat. A picture told the story in The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., when a “murderous wife gets life.” “Indicted” captured the top of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and its story about an executive facing charges over stock dealings. “Question of trash or treason,” said the News Sentinel in Knoxville, Tenn., which printed an artist’s illustration of a former maintenance worker, accused in court of taking materials from a plant once used in the production of nuclear weapons and offering them to the French government.

“FEMA ducked trailer problems,” The Times-Picayune of New Orleans said of news that the federal agency ignored health warnings about trailers provided to hurricane victims. Mississippi residents testified before a U.S. House committee. “Toxic testimony aimed at FEMA,” The Sun Herald of Biloxi, Miss., said.

Forty years ago this coming week, rioting broke out in Detroit. “Police and snipers in gun battle; 100 new fires; looting spreads; 14 killed; damage $150 million,” the Free Press declared on July 25, 1967. “Tanks, troops battle snipers on West Side; 12 more die,” The Detroit News said the following day. In the end, 43 people were killed. Today’s Detroit newspapers looked back at that summer. The Free Press examined the lessons. “It’s time to get beyond the shadow of despair,” a front-page column said. In the second part of a two-day series, The News described the city’s racial divide as Stark reality.” “Black-white economic gap widens,” it said.

Today’s headline comes from the Los Angeles Times: “The computer wears the crown in checkers.” The newspaper said in reporting that, after 13 years of study, computer analysts found that a perfect game of checkers ends in a draw.

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

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