November 19, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Thanksgiving themes top front pages

In a holiday week that started with some grim news — a deadly cyclone in Bangladesh and three children killed in Baghdad — editors found stories to remind readers about the spirit of Thanksgiving.

The OC Post in Santa Ana, Calif., focused on the hungry with “WANTED: Donations to food banks have slumped statewide.” The Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times introduced readers to their neighbors with its “At Random” interview feature. The Times in Shreveport, La., had an arresting photo of a jaundiced 9-month-old boy awaiting a liver and intestinal transplant. Price tag: $1 million. A sidebar told readers how they could help.

The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune combined two Thanksgiving themes with a photo illustration of a plate and a plane headlined: “Travel plans on your plate?” The Denver Post had a witty front-page cartoon to advise how readers can avoid jiggling “like Aunt Sally’s famous Jell-O mold” this holiday. And The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee told us: “Thanks is good therapy/Being grateful brings emotional, physical benefits, experts find.”

Amid the holiday themes were worldly worries. Colorado’s Aurora Sentinel used a powerful AP photo of a child wedged between collapsed pieces of a corrugated-metal house in Bangladesh to illustrate “Cyclone toll tops 2,300.” And an AP special report about child abuse risks in single-parent households caught many editors’ interest, including The (Stockton, Calif.) Record and Ventura County (Calif.) Star: “Case workers link risk of abuse to 1-parent homes.”

For those of us feeling all Al Gore-ish for recycling old computer parts, the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, Fla., didn’t sugarcoat it: “Recycling: A Big Lie.” Or as the Torrance, Calif., Daily Breeze put it: “You may think you’re doing some good by recycling old electronics but are you really HURTING THE EARTH?”

Patty Rhule is a project editor at the Newseum.

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