October 8, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

All politics is local, Tip O’Neill said; all news is local, editors say

The biography of the late speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Tip O’Neill, is masterfully titled All Politics is Local: And Other Rules of the Game. A reading of the many of our front pages today, from big cities and small, leads to a similar conclusion: All news is local.

The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News devotes a chunk of Page One to an illustrated piece reporting that “Divers locate Alaska’s oldest U.S. shipwreck after 139 years.” For the Chicago Tribune, the six-column banner and photo say it all: “Heat cuts marathon short,” while a similar problem with the Twin Cities marathon finds the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press leading with “Muggy run leaves ‘em exhausted” and a picture to prove it. For the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, today’s big story is that “Green Valley residents aim to keep open space,” with a 2,000-acre parcel joining a wish list of preserves.

The Press-Telegram in Long Beach, Calif., localizes the war in the Middle East with a lead story about “Father’s journey to Iraq chases son’s ghost,” about the man who “will finish the book his son was writing before being killed.” The Miami Herald has a major Page One feature titled “Sunset on a Golden Age” about the greatest stars of Cuban music dying or growing old. For the older and homebound members of the community, the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune leads with a story about “Meals without wheels,” because of a shortage of volunteers.

The Sun in Baltimore leads with a story about groups challenging “new standards to earn a high school diploma,” while three Page One photos show the demolition of a local parking garage. In Raleigh, N.C., The News & Observer warns its readers that “Phone and mail scams get slicker,” and the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Ga., reminds everyone that “Tuesday is the final day to register to vote.” Our friends in McAllen, Texas, devote much of Page One of The Monitor to objections to plans to build “nearly 250 large whirling wind turbines” on an area ranch. Environmental groups are complaining about the possible danger to migrating birds. We’ll go back to read the entire story to learn whether non-bird residents object to the possible noise from 250 giant wind turbines.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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