July 23, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

It takes more than hard news to fill all Page One holes

Your title may vary, but let’s say that you are the editor responsible for getting out today’s daily – starting with Page One. And you look and look but there are no news (at times like this you hope the word “news” is plural).  Happily, this being Monday, you also look at what has been left for you to start the day and that takes care of part of Page One.

Let’s start way out there, with The Honolulu Advertiser that plays up a beach scene with the head “Sand between your toes? Eeek, it’s alive!” That will get to every reader.  The big piece on Page One of the Anchorage Daily News up in Alaska shows a driver and his passengers with “Taxis on the tundra” and the drop “Where gas is costly and roads are few, a cab is the way to go.” The Fresno Bee in California has a big Page One spread about “Barking up the right tree,” telling the story – with photo – about an area police force that bought its first police dog. Down south in San Bernardino, The Sun gives over Page One to “A film geek’s dream,” about a DVD place with an “enormous selection.”

Move to The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and we find a timely “Coping with storm insurance” whooped up on Page One. For the Chicago Sun-Times there’s “No parking break here” about the high cost of parking your car downtown. The Morning Call in Allentown, Penn., plays up “Tanzanians’ crying need shakes Moravians’ souls,” Moravians having first settled neighboring Bethlehem and still doing missionary duties. For the Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas the Page One grabber is about “Local retiree living his dream,” a head that gets to everyone over the age of 40. Why, even The Boston Globe plays up “Island back in business,” about a New Hampshire retreat again in business “to relief of regulars.”

Today’s prize goes to the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio for a Page One photo of a penguin waddling across large pieces of paper with paint on its feet and the alliterative head “Penguin painting pays,” about “art created by animals enriches them and the zoo.” Wonder what the penguin’s cut is.

Mondays aren’t so bad after all.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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