December 26, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

News of happy and unhappy returns

In the news, it was the day of returns — to the mall, to holiday tradition, to the campaign trail.

The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser found retailers hoping for a rescue with “Gift cards cause 2nd sales surge.” Abroad, those hopes turned to Boxing Day sales, as Canada’s Calgary Sun predicted a “Shopping Maul.”

The Telegraph in Alton, Ill., led with a photo of a mouth-watering display of pies to illustrate the tradition of feeding neighbors: “Volunteers serve crowd at church, deliver dinners to residents.”

The Fresno Bee’s “Home for the holidays” told of a California soldier, severely injured in Iraq, who made it home to Fresno, with a photo of a sweet kiss from his cousin.

In the Los Angeles Times, “Skid row’s Christmas cheer is on the money” tells of a Los Angeles man dubbed Father Dollar Bill who gives money to people in need.

In Fargo, N.D., The Forum’s “Gift of gag” told of readers’ worst gifts ever. Take heart, reader, if Santa didn’t fulfill your fantasies. It could be worse.

One news story on many front pages was “Loose tiger kills visitor at S.F. zoo,” as The Herald in Monterey, Calif., said it, with a photo of the tiger, Tatiana.

The San Francisco Chronicle added in a subhead, “Animal is shot to death by police — same cat that mauled a zookeeper who was feeding her almost exactly a year ago.”

The Tahoe Daily Tribune told of a local bookstore that was closing, with the story cleverly inserted into the pages of a book.

Speaking of returns, presidential hopefuls are back on trail, and The Des Moines Register wrote of Grundy Center, Iowa, population 2,531, where 13 candidates have visited this season: “A Can’t-Miss Exit Emerges in Race: Grundy Center.”

In journalism news, The Ledger of Lakeland, Fla., told of an award-winning news anchor in the business for three years. And she’s only 9.

Patty Rhule is a project editor at the Newseum.

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