November 5, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Pakistan problems and King Tut make it to many U.S. front pages

Two international stories made it to many U.S. front pages today — sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both. The first is the situation in Pakistan, a story that leads Page One of many dailies. The other is the first view the world has had of the face of King Tut.

The Decatur (Ala.) Daily skipped Pakistan, but the top of the Page One reads, “Egypt unveils King Tut’s face to public 85 years after discovery of famous tomb.” The Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas puts the photo at the bottom of the page and says: “King Tut’s face on permanent display.” Ditto for the Detroit Free Press, touting “King Tut’s visitors can see the man behind the mask,” while the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune plays it straight with a one-column head, “The face of young pharaoh revealed.” Readers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution can’t miss the story with the big head “King Tut Revealed,” two Page One photos and then the head “Mummy can finally show his mug.”

For The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the squared-off top of the page reports “Pakistani Police seize Musharraf foes,” while a one-column photo leads you inside to the King Tut story, even as The Kansas City (Mo.) Star leads with “Enemies placed under arrest” in Pakistan and a one-column photo touts the King Tut story inside. The Chicago Tribune puts a photo and “King Tut unmasked” above the nameplate but leads with “Musharraf puts U.S. in a bind.” The Des Moines (Iowa) Register squares off “In emergency, Pakistan arrests activities” with nary a word about King Tut. The Oregonian in Portland leads with Pakistan and asks at the bottom of Page One: “Is that a smile on King Tut’s face?”

Finally, on behalf of the un-organized League of Former Newspaper Editors Who Went on to Different if Not Better Things, we found the head all of us were looking for on Page One of The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal. There it is, next to a photo of King Tut, for all to see: “A face only a mummy could love.” We all cheered.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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