February 26, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Europeans want to know winners of the Oscars even a day late

When the Oscars were being handed out in Hollywood Sunday night most of the European moviegoers were sound asleep (along with some of us on the U.S. East Coast) so we thought that we would see how the European dailies would play catch up. Although the event had an all-time low audience, it set other records for European winners.

Let’s start alphabetically, with A for Austria, the country that won its first-ever Oscar for a film. You can’t miss it, with big Page One photos of director Stefan Ruzowitzky holding high his Oscar for best foreign-language film and his quote that “it doesn’t get any better” in the Kleine Zeitung in Graz, the Kurier in Vienna and other dailies. Trud in Sofia, Bulgaria, has a Page One photo of French actress Marion Cotillard holding her Oscar while standing in front of a giant Oscar and Cyrillic words that lead you to the story inside. In Prague where Oscar seems to be Oscara, two of the top dailies — Lidove Noviny and Prazsky Denik — both have Page One photos and stories there or inside. In Heilbronn, Germany, our friends at the Heilbronner Stimme have a Page One photo of three winners and the headline “No Country for Old Men is the big winner at the Oscar presentations.” Move down to Thessaloniki, Greece, where Makedonia also has a front-page photo, some words and an invitation to read all about it on Page 44. Back up in Budapest, Hungary, Nepszabadsag also teases the inside report with a photo. Italian dailies do the same — Corriere della Sera in Milan, La Repubblica in Rome and others. Even Blik in Kiev, Ukraine, has a Page One tease.

In Krakow, Poland, Dziennik Polski has a stylized strip of film on Page One with the words — in English — “and the Oscar goes to…” while Gazeta Wyborcza has a more conventional photo and story. Publico in Lisbon, Portugal, has a top-of-the-page Oscar spread with photos and words, while SME in Bratislava, Slovakia, has a big photo and a story that jumps inside. The Daily Telegraph in London touts at the top of Page One its “Oscars special” inside. A French actress walked away with an Oscar for playing everyone’s favorite, Edith Piaf, but the one French daily on our Web site, La Tribune, is a business publication that doesn’t seem to care.

Finally, the European edition of Stars and Stripes, the daily for the U.S. armed forces, also reports on the Oscars but plays up a report that “Air Force calls on ‘Ghost Hunters’ to investigate spooky sightings on Ohio base.” That’s what we’ll be reading during our coffee break.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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