May 23, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Today’s standouts: something special, something different

Memorable front pages begin this Memorial Day weekend:

China earthquake: The Kansas (Mo.) City Star offered “A wedding album from an epic day” with photos and a description of what happened when the China earthquake struck during a wedding photo shoot.

California wildfires: The San Jose Mercury News incorporated a photo into the top two-thirds of its front page and noted 3,400 acres had burned so far.

Polygamist sect: The Standard-Times of San Angelo, Texas, has done extensive coverage of the removal of more than 450 children from a religious compound in west Texas. It devoted its entire page to the sect and Thursday’s decision by an appeals court that the state had acted illegally.

Following a story: Twin Cities newspapers continue to report on last summer’s collapse of an interstate bridge. Today’s Pioneer Press from St. Paul, Minn., featured a program that is teaching school children about construction, including “Bridge Basics in Kidspeak.”

Memorial Day: The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., keeps in mind its role as the newspaper of a military community. Today it pictured a high school student paying respects to service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Weekend events: In advance of Sunday’s Indy 500, The Indianapolis Star reported on the “Marketing Muscle” of the IndyCar Series and promoted a 20-page special section.

Summertime travel: Rising gas prices have been in the news almost daily. Today, many newspapers looked at the effect on summer travel. The Green Bay (Wis.) Press-Gazette referred to an online animated editorial cartoon by its cartoonist, Joe Heller. In a “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” feature, The Forum of Fargo, N.D., calculated a cost-effective vacation.

Local news of interest: Can’t beat today’s Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., for local news. It reported that cops pretended to deliver pizza to catch robbery suspects, that a high school yearbook was filled with mistakes and that the local Marines were headed back to Iraq for the third time. And across the bottom of the page, it included the story of nuns who “run off to teach and minister in the circus.”

Kate Kennedy is front pages editor at the Newseum.

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