May 18, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Immigration deal, Wolfowitz's fall vie for top billing on Page One

They didn’t agree on how the stories should be played but many U.S. newspaper editors decided that two stories belong on Page One today – the three-way deal between the White House and the Senate's Democrats and Republicans that may result in a new immigration law and the resignation of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank.

For The Washington Post, the two stories fought it out for attention across the top of Page One leading with the immigration deal and making Wolfowitz the off-lead. For the Los Angeles Times “Senators craft immigration compromise” is the lead story while Wolfowitz rates only a photo and reference down at the bottom of Page One along with other news “Inside Today’s Times.”  Up north in Portland, The Oregonian uses as the off-lead “Deal could legalize millions of immigrants” with Wolfowitz teased with a photo down below.  And if you go all the way up north, you will find that the Anchorage Daily News teases both stories on Page One with details inside.

For the Daily News in Los Angeles, a top-of-the-page banner tells you “Immigration deal struck” while Wolfowitz waves goodbye at the bottom. As we travel inland, we find both stories on Page One but below the fold in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock, while the Camera in Boulder, Colo., tells its readers that “Illegals closer to legal” while the Wolfowitz story is referred to inside in the business section. The Chicago Tribune manages to get both stories on Page One with bold heads: “Bipartisan immigration deal reached” and “Wolfowitz out as World Bank chief.” The Las Vegas Review Journal leads with immigration but looks ahead with a headline noting “Deal sets stage for squabble" and “Immigration compromise draws critics on left, right.” The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., has a banner proclaiming “Senators strike immigration deal” while telling readers that the Wolfowitz story is inside. The Blade in Toledo managed to get both stories started on Page One as did The Courier-Journal in Louisville.

To complete the search, we decided to check on the truth in The Truth in Elkhart, Ind., where we read a banner head “Senators strike deal on immigration law” but couldn’t find any Page One reference to Wolfowitz. And to end the day with The Day in New London, Conn., we found Wolfowitz leading Page One and, right below, a tease to the immigration story inside.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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