July 16, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Reporting on the economy: ‘Gloom, doom from every angle’

“Bad news comes in waves for economy,” the Chicago Tribune said this morning. Those waves crashed over front pages around the world.

Somber comments about the U.S. economy from President Bush and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke propelled The Washington Post to use much of its front page to document “An Economy Thrown Into Turmoil.” The paper used charts and photos to break out “The Energy Puzzle,” “Bank Shares Tumble,” “Fannie, Freddie Falter” and “Dark Day at GM.”

Another Post — The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post — also devoted much of its page to an economic package: “Troubling signs across the board.”

Far from Washington but just as close to troubling economic news, The State Journal Register of Springfield, Ill., summed it up: “Gloom, doom from every angle.”

The New York Times pictured Bush as he “tried to reassure Americans.” The Los Angeles Times called it a “presidential pep talk” but noted that Bush’s words were at odds with higher prices and lower sales.

The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., bulleted Tuesday’s events and localized impact: “Del. vulnerable to economic fallout.” In Michigan, GM continued to make cuts. “Carmaker acts to restore confidence in its future,” The Detroit News said in a Page One business column.

Anywhere there are worried consumers and concerned investors — that’s everywhere — economic news was prominent. The Indianapolis Star said, “Inflation hits levels not seen since ‘80s.” The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., illustrated “A Souring Economy.” The Courier-Journal in Kentucky declared: “Economic doldrums drive nation’s gloom” with a local sidebar on Louisville banks. The Seattle Times quoted analysts: “Government can’t do much more to help.”

The Toronto Star said, “Economy takes a triple hit” – a reference to housing prices, inflation and GM cuts. The Wall Street Journal noted the widening impact of the failing U.S. economy. From Scotland to Australia to Colombia to Japan, money news was on Page One.

Those looking for an escape found 15 innings of relief in a four-hour and 50-minute All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. The Los Angeles Times pictured “The Final Play at the Plate,” and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press showed Twins catcher Joe Mauer being greeted by Yogi Berra. The American League won, 4-3, but The Tampa Tribune said Yankee Stadium was the star of the night. “In shadow of new park,” The Journal News of Westchester County, N.Y., reported, “landmark’s last All-Star game a gem.”

Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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