October 23, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

There’s Page One news besides the economy and the election.

They did it again. They being the stock markets; again being yesterday’s precipitous drop. We decided to look for non-economic and non-election stories this morning, stories such as “1st snowfall brings 6 inches to The County” that tops Page One for the Bangor Daily News up in Maine, our friends at The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, playing up the fifth anniversary of the Dodge Arena with a story, photos and numbers, even as The Tampa Tribune in Florida whoops up “The World’s Stage” and the World Series game at Tropicana Field.

The Honolulu Advertiser tells its readers that “Traffic better, but still worst in nation,” while The Times in Munster, Ind., reports that a voter-registration drive (there’s the election story) is one of the “Worst in the nation” and the Chicago Tribune dug out its second-coming type for the number 13%, adding that “The governor’s approval rating among Illinois voters is even lower than Bush’s.” The Duluth News Tribune in Minnesota uses much of Page One to report about “Our bridge to nowhere,” with a story noting the county “spent $48,000 to restore a bridge, then placed it over a storm water pond.” The Herald Times Reporter in Manitowoc, Wis., reports on “WWII through one man’s eyes,” thereby localizing the last good war, while The San Diego Union-Tribune does the same about the suicide bomber who killed more than 200 in “Beirut blast still resounds” and the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis., reports about a local National Guard unit “Reporting for duty.” The Idaho Statesman in Boise plays up the “Results of the Idaho Outdoors/Idaho Camera photo contest,” complete with a pleasant picture on Page One, while The Dominion Post in Morgantown, W.Va., reports with story and photos about “Mom makes human a shield at bus stop” because “some folks aren’t stopping” when school buses flash their red lights.

We’ll mention only one first page about the economy. It’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry,” reporting the good news about gas prices dropping and the bad news about “Financial markets predicting the worst of all worlds.” That leads us to our first prize for today’s Page One. India has just sent a rocket to the moon. The banner headline in The Telegraph in Calcutta says it all: “TO MOON: Right now, it looks a better place than our Earth.”

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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