September 11, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

9/11: Seven years and counting

Anniversaries of historic events are curious affairs. Sometimes they’re a big deal to newspaper editors, sometimes they’re not. Exhibit A: The seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is front-page news in some communities, and not in others.

The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, and the San Francisco Chronicle all produced fresh Page One news today by tying the date to current headlines, including the presidential campaign, trials of military detainees and the troubling economy. Others, like the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News and the Chicago Tribune, marked the day with front-page photos, but referred readers to apparently less-important anniversary stories inside.

The Boston Globe, Baltimore’s The Sun and The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch gave their 9/11 articles the centerpiece treatment and local angles — as did the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, The State in Columbia, S.C., The Anniston (Ala.) Star, Hernando Today in Brooksville, Fla. and the Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, which asked in an emotion-filled headline: “When, if ever, does the mourning end?”

Several, including papers in towns far from the coordinated air attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., approached today as many newspapers did the first anniversary: with unexpected and untraditional designs. Among them, the Asbury (N.J.) Park Press, Bluffton (S.C.) Today, and the Daily Journal in Tupelo, Miss.

While visitors to the Newseum’s 9/11 gallery can reflect on the still-terrifying news any day of the year, there’s no denying whether New York’s Newsday considers Sept. 11, 2008, to be an important anniversary. The tabloid’s front cover is dominated by a full-page, bold No. 7.

Bridget Gutierrez is an exhibits writer at the Newseum.

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