January 17, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Money woes, giant rat top editors' agendas

As eyes turn to Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s plan to revive the economy, we look at how local papers are covering the story.

“Budget projections paint bleak picture,” said The Gadsden Times, reporting on Alabama’s legislature.

“Feeling squeezed? Inflation data back you up,” said Alaska’s Anchorage Daily News.

Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star had a chart and a giant egg to illustrate “’07 earnings rise lags consumer-price increase.”

“Squeeze is on for consumers,” reported The Bakersfield Californian, with a photo-illustrated chart and an analysis asking, “So now what?”

“In exit polls, economy was main concern” said Indiana’s South Bend Tribune in a post-Michigan primary report.

“Growth may have slowed, but there’s more panic than logic behind the markets’ moves, some say” cautioned the Los Angeles Times in a lead package under the headline, “Congress and Wall St. Pivot on Economy.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune offered a simple, elegant chart on the price of gas, cereal and health expenses for “Inflation Report: Everyday Costs Spike.”

Closer to politics central, The Washington Times touts an “exclusive” with the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, Arizonan Jon Kyl, under a headline “Kyl slams Democrats on economy.”

With a “For Sale” sign planted in front of a home under construction, West Hawaii Today in Kailua Kona said, “Bracing for more rough times / Federal Reserve says economy has lost momentum — recession fears persist.”

News of a rodent of a very unusual size, to paraphrase The Princess Bride author William Goldman, made lots of front pages. It topped The Salinas Californian: “LARGEST RODENT: Scientists find fossil evidence of one-ton animal in South America.”

Another story that piqued our interest: “U.S. orders study of strange disorder,” detailed by the Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press as involving erupting sores from which sprout fibers of red, blue or black and the feeling of bugs crawling under the skin.

Finally, a story close to our hearts at Newseum, The Gulf News in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, reported on its ranking in the World Press Freedom Index: “Press is free, but timid.”

Patty Rhule is a project editor for the Newseum.

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