December 18, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

N.J. to Calif.: Page One capitalizes on state news

From the legislature to the football field, state news led front pages in some parts of the U.S.

In New Jersey, a measure abolishing capital punishment was signed into law. “N.J. may lead U.S. trend with death penalty repeal,” said the Asbury Park Press in Neptune, which included bulleted “Details about the Death Penalty in N.J.” “First state in 42 years to outlaw punishment,” the Burlington County Times in Willingboro said. “8 condemned men to live rest of natural lives in jail,” The Star-Ledger of Newark said about the action that replaces the death sentence with life in prison without parole.

In California, the state assembly took “a big step,” The Sacramento Bee reported after an overhaul of the state’s health-care system was approved. “Health care for all advances,” said The Modesto Bee’s lead headline. The San Jose Mercury News broke out the health plan’s main points and further steps to becoming law. “Many hurdles await plan to cover all Californians,” The San Diego Union-Tribune added.

Kentucky front pages shared details of a state auditor’s report that questioned whether a restructured state Medicaid program saved money. Nebraska front pages looked at the upcoming drop in the state’s gas tax. And Virginia front pages examined the details of the governor’s two-year budget. His “proposal aims high on health care and education,” The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk said. “The battle begins,” said The Roanoke Times, which broke out the numbers.

In Michigan, the “new Mr. Blue” — University of Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez — was pictured on front pages. “Coal miner’s son seen as gem for U-M football,” The Detroit News said.

Across the states, the post office was the place for photographers to be. Gift-givers loaded with packages to mail were pictured everywhere. “Time’s Running Out!” said the deadline-driven editors at the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune who listed the last days to ship. “Post haste,” The Fresno (Calif.) Bee said. And The Dallas Morning News encouraged: “Let it go, let it go, let it go.”

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

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