October 17, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Superbug flies onto front pages, but regional stories reign supreme

Only one story was able to garner national attention today: the deadly staph-infection story. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's headline asked, "Deadlier than AIDS?" concerning a report that drug-resistant infection is killing more Americans than AIDS is. The Salt Lake Tribune had the ominous headline, "Superbug tightens deadly grip on America," and gave tips for resisting infection. The Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va., discussed how schools — susceptible to the spread of infection — were taking more steps toward "Battling the bug" with extra cleanliness.

However, most headlines covered other things, and we'll focus on the stories that captivated states and regions.

In Colorado, the Colorado Rockies were given front-page visibility after easily sliding into the World Series. The Denver Post asked "Who's got next?" and weighed the pros and cons of the Rockies' potential World Series foes — the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. The Greeley (Colo.) Tribune focused on the economic impact of having the hometown team in the World Series with a story about the rush of fans clamoring to buy Rockies gear.

Iowa focused on political news, with the moving of the Republican caucuses to Jan. 3 being the top local story. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The Gazette led with the straightforward headline, "Iowa GOP to hold caucuses Jan. 3." The Des Moines (Iowa) Register said, "GOP Shuffle 'Keeps Us First,'" and had a great January 2008 calendar graphic detailing other important January dates such as other primaries, the NFL playoffs and Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

The Jena Six were still on the minds of editors in Louisiana, many of whom had stories about them on the front page. The Advocate in Baton Rouge, La., told us "Justice Department criticized in Jena case," while The News-Star from Monroe, La., said, "House probes Jena's 'bias,'" and showed a photo of the Rev. Al Sharpton testifying about the case on Capitol Hill.

Finally, transportation news, specifically the tolls charged on I-80, showed up on the front page of several Pennsylvania papers today. The Pocono Record in Stroudsburg said simply, "25 bucks to cross Pa.," and the Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette detailed the approval needed for the toll with "Future of I-80 now in hands of Washington."

Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.

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