September 5, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Pictures really are worth a thousand words

Page One editors today captured local, national and international news with big, color photographs. Snapshots in time tell more than words can about hope, nature, poverty, weather and culture.

In Columbus, Ga., the Ledger-Enquirer displays a flag-draped casket lowered from an airplane as soldiers stand at attention. The simple headline: “Somber greeting.”

The Denver Post shows a woman hugging a large, wet, wild beaver. “A champion for nature’s engineers” is about Sherri Tippie, legally trapping beavers and relocating them for 25 years as humans encroach on animal habitats. The Post was one of many Western newspapers to put the story of missing aviator Steve Fossett out front: “Terrain hinders Fossett search” suggests finding him won’t be easy.

The New York Times shows farm workers. The catch is they're in Mexico. The story is about California farmers relocating to Mexico for labor.

The Miami Herald shows residents in La Ceiba, Honduras, wading thigh-deep down a street after Hurricane Felix passed by. Winds are weakening, but flooding will remain a problem for islands in the storm’s path.

The Indianapolis Star displays a mother of three shopping for school clothes at a thrift store. The headline explains, “Morgan, Hendricks counties see sharp rise in poverty.” This is in the suburbs. The article reports a Census study showing poverty spreading there.

Yesterday was the first day of school for much of the country. So The Standard-Times of New Bedford, Mass., offers a beaming youngster: “Big girl on campus.” The word “girl” is printed in pink. In Port Huron, Mich., the Times Herald also displayed a back-to-school Page One photo of kindergarteners sitting wide-eyed on the floor looking up at a teacher.

Perhaps the best-looking front page belongs to the Record Searchlight of Redding, Calif. The lead photo shows deputies tugging at a monstrous marijuana plant. They’re surrounded by lots of green. The headline: “Growing the force / More pot means more law officers in California’s national forests.” Next to the pot is a photo of Kurt Cobain and a teaser to a study that concludes rock stars party hard and die young. At top right, a bold picture refers to an article about Mattel recalling another 700,000 toys. Lead Paint Barbie won’t be coming out any time soon.

Tim Friend is senior content specialist for exhibit development at the Newseum.

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