February 21, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Eclipse, election and escapees make alliterative front-page news

It isn't very often that we see a local story that makes the front page in Wyoming and New Hampshire. But today, the two states, one small in population, the other small in square miles, have a common front-page story. Cheyenne's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle says, "Cheyenne fugitives arrested in N.H." with a subhead about a bonehead move — calling a former employer and providing a new address — by one of the escaped convicts. Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H., called the escapees "dangerous" in its headline and provided mugshots of the two recaptured men.

An errant U.S. satellite was shot down by a missile, called a "Navy satellite killer" by The Huntsville (Ala.) Times, which provided a bright photo of a missile being launched on its front page. The Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.) used the headline "Ready, aim ..." and showed a graphic representation of how the satellite was shot down.

The presidential election is never far from the front page, especially the red-hot Democratic race. Kailua Kona's West Hawaii Today had large caricatures of Barack Obama (whose candidacy, according to the subhead, "galvanizes Hawaii Democrats") and Hillary Clinton with the headline "It's On." The Plain Dealer in Cleveland gave a numeric treatment to its front page, breaking down the important figures heading into Ohio's March 4 primary. Florida is hoping to avoid the snubbing of its delegates at the convention, according to Jacksonville's Florida Times-Union. And the New York Post may have the funniest front page of the day with faked pictures of Bill Clinton in a cowboy hat and Hillary in a Davy Crockett-esque raccoon-skin hat with the headline: "Clinton Alamo: Do or die in Texas."

And finally, nothing brings out a great front-page photo like last night's lunar eclipse. A few of our favorites were in the Los Angeles Times and Helena, Mont.'s Independent Record; also eye-catching were the time lapse on the front page of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald and the large, nameplate-displacing photo on the Beaver County (Pa.) Times's Page One with the headline, "It's A Cover-Up." We won't see the likes of these photos on front pages again until the next total lunar eclipse — 2010.

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

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