August 14, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

In Europe, some news is the same while there is much that is different

We thought that we would take a look at a few European newspapers this morning to see what makes news in the faraway lands.

We start in England, where they speak a language similar to our own. For The Guardian in London, the big story is about the new prime minister and what he’s been doing, with the major Page One story reporting that he spent “39 billion pounds in first seven weeks” while what we might call the lead story reports “Close to tears, Bush’s right-hand man bids farewell,” a story also played up in the U.S. press. For The Herald in Glasgow, Scotland, the big story is that “We are under siege from racism, say ethnic youths,” a plaint that probably has universal understanding.

Moving across the Channel, the International Herald Tribune, better known to a few generations as the Paris Trib, leads with “Key adviser to Bush announces resignation,” next to a three column photo of President Bush and Karl Rove. But for Le Monde there’s a bigger Page One story — “En Asie, la pire mousson de memoire d’homme,” or “In Asia, the worst monsoon in the memory of man,” which may be difficult to top. Le Figaro, a popular Parisian daily, tries with a big Page One photo of many bicycles and a big story about Parisians and the “revolution of the bicycle,” the campaign to get the locals to use the two-wheelers to resolve some of the traffic problems. In neighboring Spain, Granada Hoy (in Granada, of course) the big story is of an arsenal of the separatist ETA organization being found in the south of France.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich plays up “Bush’s closest confidant resigns” while Die Tageszeitung in Berlin reports that the influx of capital by the central banks is feeding the speculators, including a photo of a man sitting on a pile of banknotes while lighting his cigar with one such banknote. And not far away from Munich, the Salzburger Nachrichten in Salzburg, Austria, plays up and warns its readers that the speed limit for cars has been cut to 100 kilometers because of the poor air.

There are stories that are of universal interest but there are others that you have to be there to understand.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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