October 10, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Panic selling brings another emotional day on stock market

They look worried.

On Thursday — for the seventh business day in a row — the stock market was down, down, down. With the Dow dragged below 9,000 for the first time in five years, front pages look worried. “Another losing day,” said The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky.

In Casper, Wyo., Tacoma, Wash., and Fort Worth, Texas, the word “panic” was on the front page. Red down arrows were printed the width of the Chicago Tribune: “All signs pointing to panic.”

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the stock market’s all-time high, and the Rocky Mountain News charted the descent from “Peak to bleak.” “What a difference a year makes,” The Telegraph in Nashua, N.H., said in a graphic. “And it just gets worse,” The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press said.

GM was one stock that got pummeled. “Auto Fears Grow,” The Detroit News said, adding, “Market Drop Revives Talk of Bankruptcy.”

Headlines had a sense of helplessness. “Running out of options,” The Record of Hackensack, N.J., said, adding, “Finding a cure for financial crisis proves elusive.”

The San Antonio (Texas) Express-News optimistically looked ahead in its coverage of options: “World gearing up to cool meltdown.” The Indianapolis Star examined the economic toolbox available to the government: “Standard options have failed to shore up unstable markets.”

Even as The Sun of Baltimore called it “Uneasy Street” and others reported panic, Newsday on Long Island offered advice from experts: “Even Now, Don’t Panic (Really).”

Amid the gloom, The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., began a series on happiness, “the most sought-after human emotion.” Offered the newspaper: “How to get happy? Thinking positive is a good start.”

Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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