January 25, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Money in your pocket is news on your front page

As a tax-rebate deal came together yesterday, newspapers across the country decided to lead with the story. "Your check's in the mail (soon)," proclaimed The Huntsville (Ala.) Times.

The Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel called the projected economic stimulus "The Big Ben Theory" with Ben Franklin on a $100 bill pictured. The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune had graphics — men, women and children, similar to those on bathroom doors — to show what amount each person could be expecting: $600 per single taxpayer, $1,200 per working couple, plus $300 extra for each child. The Dodge City (Kan.) Daily Globe called the rebates an economic "Booster Shot."

The Kansas City Star used the famous Uncle Sam pointing illustration with the headline, "I Want You to Spend This Wisely." Long Island, N.Y.'s Newsday showed a hand clasping money with the headline "Fistful of Dollars." The Williamsport (Pa.) Sun-Gazette used the headline "Show Me the Money" and wrote the beginning of its story on the back of $20 bills.

Some papers wanted to know what you, the people, thought. The Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, Calif.) wanted to know "What will you do with your money?" and The Middletown (Ohio) Journal asked people on the street, "Save It Or Spend It?"

Not all newspapers were upbeat or optimistic about the rebates. Kailua Kona's West Hawaii Today asked, "Can Uncle Sam bribe his way out of a recession?" The Hannibal (Mo.) Courier-Post wanted to know if this was a "Stimulus or stopgap?" and said "Most welcome the plan, but others are wary." The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) wondered "Will It Work?" in its headline, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked, "Will it be enough?"

ehedges@newseum.org Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.

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