December 4, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Winter storms onto Page One with drenching rain, measurable snow

Winter arrived early on the U.S. coasts, and the front page became a weather report.

Record-breaking rain and hurricane-force winds brought flooding — "Liquid misery" — to western Washington state, where the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Times and the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton printed rescue photos that spanned the width of their pages.

"Wet, miserable and braced for more," The News Tribune of Tacoma said. The Olympian listed rain totals, road closures and the forecast. Many newspapers promoted up-to-the-minute details available on their Web sites.

Oregon was "Coping with a tide of trouble," the Statesman Journal of Salem said. "Governor calls state of emergency as power, roads cut," The Oregonian of Portland said.

In contrast, the Valley News of West Lebanon, N.H., pictured a peaceful winter wonderland as the Northeast got its first significant snowfall. The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle labeled its coverage "Winter Survival Guide" with separate stories on "Tricky Travel" and "Winter Gadgets."

Across the U.S., news that Iran stopped its nuclear program in 2003 made many front pages. "National Intelligence Estimate: Iran Halted Nuclear Work," The Philadelphia Inquirer said. The Dallas Morning News bulleted key findings of the report from the intelligence community, The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville shared the news in a Q&A, and The New York Times paired conflicting findings from 2005 and 2007 reports. "US spies give shock verdict on Iran threat," The Guardian of London said. "A Blow to Bush's Tehran Policy," The Washington Post said in an analysis.

In a dramatic display, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times lined up photos of a local singer in a what-happened-to piece. "How did she go from 'Idol' to this?" the Times asked about a 2005 American Idol contestant who went from being a celebrity to being arrested.

How do you make sense of the national debt? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it in terms every man, woman and child in the U.S. could understand.

Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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