November 21, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Stem cells join front pages stuffed with holiday news

A major medical breakthrough on stem cells joined holiday travel, movie and eating stories on Thanksgiving eve front pages.

  • • “Scientists bypass need for embryo to get stem cells” is how New York Times editors led the front page.
  • • The Biloxi, Miss., Sun Herald asked “Is stem cell debate over?” with a photo of a stem cell.
  • • Not likely, said The Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, which had a sidebar to its lead story headlined: “Stem-cell debate is not over, some say.”
  • The Santa Fe New Mexican added the political angle: “Stem-cell discovery may reshape debate/White House says breakthrough vindicates Bush’s opposition to embryo cell research.”
  • The Lima (Ohio) News took it one step further: “New findings could be election plus for Bush, anti-abortion allies.”
  • The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., added a smart Q&A box that put the breakthrough in perspective.

But for many readers, thoughts were on Thanksgiving. The Intelligencer in Doylestown, Pa., offered a hard-to-miss photo graphic on Thanksgiving by the numbers. Bottom line: You’ll eat 3,000 calories and spend more time with the tube than talking to grandma.

Cautionary note: It is unlikely pop star Fergie eats that much, if you look at the taut tummy she shows off in Brazil’s Amazônia Hoje.

In Hampton Roads, Va., Link editors created a photo illustration of a turkey made of football pigskin, complete with stuffing. An arresting image, but it reminded us of leather-tough birds we’ve cooked.

For those who will head to the mall once they are through digesting, Stroudsburg, Pa.’s Pocono Record offered parents graphic front-page help on shopping for game systems.

The St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press got to the point, urging: “See a Wii? A Zune? Better grab it.”

Patty Rhule is a project editor at the Newseum.

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