October 11, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Ohio newspapers try to explain how, why of school shooting

“Another school in shock,” The Columbus Dispatch said, as newspapers across Ohio reported on the shooting of four by a 14-year-old suspended student.

The Plain Dealer devoted much of its page to the shooting at a downtown Cleveland high school. It broke out the sequence of events and highlighted “How it happened” and “The victims.” “Teen troubled, violent, called genius by some,” it said. Photos of stunned students and family members were played prominently in The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Repository of Canton and The Blade of Toledo.

The Akron Beacon Journal juggled two stories of keen local interest. Two photos, a story and a map about the school shooting filled the center, while a story about a tentative deal in the UAW-Chrysler strike topped the page.

The six-hour strike and outcome filled the front page of the Detroit Free Press, which focused on what’s next: “2 deals, 1 to go.” “Ford now becomes an uneasy 3rd target,” it added. The Detroit News spelled out terms of the agreement.

Hot, dry weather has been in the news in the Southeast for weeks. Today, the news spread north, with The Washington Post saying: “Balmy Weather Might Feel Great, but Lawns Are Shriveled, Farmers Are Frazzled and Houses Need a Cool Drink of Water.” The drought has turned into a crisis in Georgia, where The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on “Metro Atlanta’s need for water.” “Three months from a mudhole,” said the newspaper, which explained that Lake Lanier, the city’s main source of water, has only three months of storage left. The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer pictured a well being drilled to illustrate residents’ moves to tap groundwater.

Deficient health care for children also made Page One. “Kids get appropriate care less than half the time,” the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader said. A study, reported in today’s New England Journal of Medicine, was conducted in Seattle, where the Post-Intelligencer pictured the lead author and charted care by ailment.

German newspapers celebrated the success of Gerhard Ertl, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. It wasn’t a formulaic front page for Der Tagesspiegel in Berlin, which pictured Ertl, who won the award on his 71st birthday.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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