August 8, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

It’s show time for China, Beijing – and front pages

“Let the games begin!” The Bakersfield Californian pronounced.

“Our Olympic Dawn” appeared in a photo illustration on the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. From Jakarta to Brussels to Johannesburg, images and stories in advance of today’s opening ceremony made front-page news.

“First day,” The Miami Herald said, adding: “The Olympic Games begin today, and Beijing is hoping they will stay free of pollution, protests and drugs.”

All eyes are on China, host of the Summer Games. USA Today reported on an East-West rivalry for gold, and The Denver Post said: “China will be flexing muscle of its emerging Olympic sports power.” Said The Boston Globe: “China, embracing both tradition and change, is looking for victory.”

Beyond athletics, front pages are reporting on Beijing, the capital city, and Chinese culture. “Old parts of Beijing — dirt, not dignitaries/20 minutes and a million miles from Olympic glory,” the San Francisco Chronicle said about a Beijing neighborhood. The Cincinnati Enquirer is following the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra as it plays two concerts at the games.

The Forum of Fargo, N.D., produced a magazine-style at-a-glance of the games. Some front pages referred to TV coverage. The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., broke out helpful information and said: “Viewers, get your remotes ready.” The Californian tried to prevent confusion by charting the time difference between Bakersfield and Beijing.

The Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Denver Post and others include Olympics special sections in today’s newspaper. Other newspapers offer extensive coverage inside, including The Indianapolis Star with its full-page viewer’s guide.

Another history-making story took over front pages in Detroit, where the mayor spent last night in jail after violating the terms of his bond. “Jailed mayor set to face new felony,” said the Free Press, noting Kwame Kilpatrick is the first mayor in the city’s history to spend a night behind bars. Both Detroit newspapers printed columns on their front pages. “Cuffing, escorting mayor to jail a sad duty,” the Free Press said. From The News: “A Tragic Day for Detroit.”

Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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