April 19, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Macabre manifesto, Baghdad bombings and a split by the Supremes share Page One

A package of writings, video and pictures sent to NBC News by Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung Hui gave new legs to the tragic story that has dominated Page One domestically for the past two days. “Manifesto” was the word of the day for many newspapers, while others pulled quotes from the video for headlines: “You forced me into a corner,” The Boston Globe. The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News couldn’t avoid the Tech killer’s references to the 1999 Columbine shootings — tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of the Columbine shootings.

With images from Cho’s videotape the key art of the day, editors gave significant play to two other top stories. “’Horrifying’ Iraq blasts kill 183” was the lead in The Fresno (Calif.) Bee, and several front pages noted that the bombings in Baghdad resulted in the “worst wave of carnage” since the U.S. introduced its “surge” strategy three months ago. The other story: “Abortion foes win,” said the Worcester, Mass., Telegram & Gazette, which gave over nearly its entire front page to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling upholding a ban on late-term abortion procedures.

Good day/bad day: Chicago White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle had a very good day, pitching the first major league no-hitter of the young baseball season, and the first by a Chi-Sox pitcher since 1991. Chicago papers noted the event, but so, too, did papers as far away as the Birmingham(Ala.) News. (Buehrle pitched for the Birmingham Baron’s minor league team on his way up to the majors.) American Idol contestant Sanjaya shared space with Buehrle at the top of many front pages, it appears his astonishing run on the top TV show is over.

Front-page favorites: The Record of Kitchener, Canada, captured the frustration of millions of North Americans who were left “twiddling their thumbs” when their handheld devices crashed yesterday with its cute headline: “BlackBerry Jam.” But the creative cover award for the day has to go to the Dziennik Baltycki of Gdansk, Poland. The newspaper celebrated the news that Poland and Ukraine will co-host soccer’s 2012 European Championship with an artful rendering of a soccerball peeking out from behind the paper. Quite a kick in the pants to morning readers.

Mike Fetters is the director/marketing and communications for the Newseum.

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