April 2, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Air-travel troubles grow, soar to top of Page Ones

There were three major international stories that found some, albeit limited, interest among the editors of the U.S. dailies today – Possible peace talks in the Middle East, the tsunami that swept over the Solomon Islands in the Pacific and the British captives in Iran. Domestically, there was some interest in the fundraising successes and failures of the Democratic presidential wannabes.

But there was one story that caught the attention of many editors and will be Page One reading for the traveling public. In the words of the Daily News in Los Angeles “Airline quality in descent for 3rd year in a row.” The headline in the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson is much the same: “Flight woes worsen for 3rd straight year.” In the nation’s capital, The Washington Times headline quotes from the report itself  “Airline quality: ‘They just don’t get it.'" In Georgia's Marietta Daily Journal it is “Airline quality in three-year dive. For readers of the Journal Star in Peoria, Ill., which some tired travelers think really is the far end of the United Airlines terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the Page One head says “Airline problems grow.”

The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., warns its readers that “Airline annoyances grow” while The Wichita Eagle in Kansas turns to “Airlines’ quality wanes,” adding that “Lost bags, late flights and more plague travelers.” In Nebraska, the Omaha World-Herald looks at the report another way, noting that “Course correction crucial for airlines, quality raters warn.” For The Buffalo News in upstate New York it is “U.S. airline industry giving worse service, study contends.”

In London, England, The Guardian manages to keep the captives in Iran off Page One, devoting much space to the lead story:  “British team grows human heart valve from stem cells.”

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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