Today's Front Pages Analysis
Civil rights and faraway fights are today's front-page news
In Jena, La., thousands marched in a peaceful protest, according to the headline in The Town Talk in nearby Alexandria, La. The protesting of the treatment of the "Jena Six" was "reminiscent of civil rights era demonstrations" according to The Times-Picayune of New Orleans. The big difference was that this time, most major newspapers, including Southern ones, covered the march. The Huntsville (Ala.) Times had a prominent photo of students holding hands around a noose in a tree, similar to the one in Jena. The Ledger-Enquirer from Columbus, Ga., discussed the cause and reaction to the demonstration, calling it a "march for equal justice." The story was covered around the nation with papers like The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee showing a large photo of thousands of demonstrators on its front page, and Page One of Cheyenne's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle also featured the news of the "rally against inequality."
In other places, the wars and the U.S. soldiers fighting in those conflicts took center stage on the front page. In some places, like Willingboro, N.J., soldiers from Fort Dix heading to Afghanistan covered the front page of the local Burlington County Times. The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., also features a soldier shipping out holding "The Son Who'll Be Waiting," his youngster, Malcolm. Some papers featured soldiers who were coming home. The San Diego Union-Tribune featured a soldier returning to his pregnant wife with the headline "Baby, I'm Home." The Anniston (Ala.) Star had a front-page story about a dad surprising his children at school after returning from a 14-month deployment to Iraq.
Finally, there were front pages with stories about soldiers returning home for good, after sacrificing their lives. The Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph's headline was simply "Coming Home" with a picture of a flag-draped casket being carried off a transport plane. The Billings (Mont.) Gazette was "honoring a soldier" with a story about a young man killed in Iraq and photos of his funeral, helping us to remember the real price of war.
Emily Hedges is an assistant editor at the Newseum.