April 21, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Pope’s visit to U.S. is Page 1 news for some German dailies, not others

Pope Benedict XVI has completed his visit to the U.S. That’s Page One news for some American dailies but not for others, for The New York Times but not for The Washington Post (except for a tease). But this is the first German pope in several hundred years — historians are not in agreement about the nationality of at least two of his predecessors — so we wondered how the German-language press in Europe is playing the story.

Starting with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich — and Munich is the capital of the pope’s home state of Bavaria — there is a big Page One photo of the pope praying at Ground Zero in New York, a caption and a reference to inside coverage. Not far away, in Augsburg, the Augsburger Allgemeine has a brief item noting that “The Pope ends his USA trip,” similar to the Page One treatment in the Neue Westfaelische in Bielefeld, the Braunschweiger Zeitung in Braunschweig — which also has an editorial about the trip — and the Saechsische Zeitung in Dresden. However, the Weser Kurier and the Bremer Nachrichten, both in Bremen, each carries a large Page One photo and story about the pope praying at Ground Zero in New York. The Suedwest Presse in Ulm — home of the tallest cathedral in the world, albeit a Lutheran one — has a photo of the pope at Ground Zero. In Berlin, Die Welt has a big top-of-the-page photo, while Der Tagesspiegel and Die Tageszeitung have nothing about the pope on Page One. The European edition of Stars and Stripes, the daily for U.S. service personnel, fills most of Page One with a photo and the headline ”Pope blesses ground zero,” with story inside on page eight; we thought we would slip this one in because it’s published in Griesheim.

The Austrian press handles the story in much the same way. Cut into its nameplate, the Kurier in Vienna has a picture of the pope with hand outstretched and the headline, “Pope waves goodbye,” with story on page six. The Salzburger Nachrichten in Salzburg has a brief Page One story with details on page seven, while Die Presse in Vienna has nothing on Page One about the pope.

Yesterday was a big sports day in Europe, which to some editors is what Monday’s Page One is all about.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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