August 6, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

A stream of water woes makes Page One news

Water, water everywhere … including today’s front-page headlines.

Earth’s most precious resource gets the spotlight from all angles. “The second coming of desalination?” headlines a Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press story about the reopening of a facility that treats saltwater during droughts. More water-shortage news can be found in The News and Advance (Lynchburg, Va.), which writes, “City taps James River for water.” The Herald-Journal (Spartanburg, S.C.) goes with the headline, “Cutbacks, restrictions help curb water usage.”

Don’t mention water shortages to anyone in Texas, where residents have been hit by Tropical Storm Edouard. “A Good Soaker” is how the San Antonio Express-News succinctly sums up its weather woes.

Water cleanliness is the topic in Rochester, N.Y. “Beach lovers don’t let water issues cloud fun,” headlines a Democrat and Chronicle story about how locals are finding alternatives to swimming in algae-infested waters.

During the summer, it’s required by law that newspapers run at least one picture of an adorable child frolicking in water. The Sentinel-Record (Hot Springs, Ark.) fulfills its obligation with a shot of a 3-year-old boy in Lake Hamilton. The headline: “Splish, splash.” Awww.

Tuesday was primary day in some parts of the country, including Missouri, Kansas, Georgia and Michigan. One of the more watched races was in Detroit, where Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., was running in a three-way Democratic primary. “Rep. Kilpatrick claims victory in tight race,” reads the bold headline in The Detroit News, which noted that the primary was “as much about her scandal-plagued son, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, as her own six terms in Congress.”

Meanwhile, The Hutchinson (Kan.) News devotes its entire front page to results from its county commission primary with massive head shots of the winners that would make even the most bigheaded politician blush.

John Maynard is an exhibits writer at the Newseum.

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