April 2, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Page 1 gets a lot of mileage from oil execs’ congressional testimony

“It’s not our fault.” “Don’t blame us.”

Headline writers focused on blame in summarizing oil executives’ comments about rising fuel prices and record oil-company profits.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer used a trading-card treatment to illustrate news about the executives’ testimony before a House committee. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle of Cheyenne used photos of the executives from large U.S. oil companies and their company logos. The St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press broke out dollar figures.

The story appeared on front pages in states that produce oil, although it was absent from Page One in the country’s largest newspapers. “Oil profits under attack,” said The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., noting criticism from Congress. “Big oil cashing in, but not middlemen,” the Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald said. The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, La., led with the story from Washington and invited readers to “Talk Back” in the chat section of its Web site.

“More fuel for the fire,” the Beaver County (Pa.) Times said in an economic package that included stories on oil execs, truckers, natural gas and building.

In what The Forum of Fargo, N.D., called “Diesel Distress,” truck drivers across the U.S. are protesting high fuel prices. That story appeared on front pages from Portsmouth, N.H., to Carson City, Nev. “Squeezed truckers rebel,” the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times said. The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch used a stand-alone photo. Its caption: “The truck stops here.”

News from Zimbabwe reached the front page of the largest U.S. newspapers three days after longtime President Robert Mugabe apparently lost the presidential election. “Mugabe’s rival claims victory in Zimbabwe,” the Chicago Tribune said. From Africa, The Namibian of Windhoek quoted sources as saying the president was ready to step down: “Mugabe on brink.”

Today’s photo: Many, many news photos are available each day. Occasionally, one jumps out. Today, the Los Angeles Times pictured President Bush kissing the wife of the Ukrainian president farewell as Laura Bush holds on. The Chicago Tribune couldn’t help but say: “We’ll always have NATO.”

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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