March 21, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

If it’s March, it’s madness; Page One wins with basketball

Disastrous flooding in the Midwest and economic troubles for U.S. consumers and cities dampened the spirits of the front page. But the saving grace on this Good Friday was college basketball.

The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., called it “That Magical Feeling.” There is madness in many corners of the country, including in Tampa, where the Tribune used a Cinderella-clad Dick Vitale to promote its NCAA basketball special section.

The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo., inserted photos into a bracket to illustrate surprises from the first round of tournament play. Double-digit wins in four games played in Omaha, Neb., prompted the World-Herald to proclaim: “Blowout City.” A large photo in the Las Vegas Review-Journal told the story of UNLV’s roll over Kent State. But for Arizona, it was “One and done,” the Daily Star of Tucson said.

The Sun of Baltimore examined the quandary that Mount St. Mary’s students find themselves in on this holy day and game day: “Piety vs. March Madness.”

A photo of a Missouri church surrounded by floodwaters appeared in the Times-Courier of Charleston, Ill. Illinois and Missouri were among five states coping with early spring flooding. “Flooded roads hamper rescuers, commuters,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. In Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said: “River towns put on high-water alert.” Along the Ohio River, The Cincinnati Enquirer said: “Floodwaters bring heartache.” The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., saw a silver lining in a rising Ohio River: “Spring drenching is drought defense.”

In a front-page consumer report, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale offered info on the economic stimulus rebates in chart form, referring to details inside and online. Neighboring Miami Herald incorporated charts and photos in a “Feeling the Pinch” package that quoted economists: “The recession is already here.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution paired national and local stories under the headline, “Simple Economics/Wisdom stays priceless in volatile times.”

The Salt Lake Tribune found inspiration from a back-yard barbecue for its “The sizzle goes fizzle” comparisons of Utah’s 2007 and 2008 economies. And with the city of Los Angeles facing a $400 million deficit, the Daily News gave a platform to money-saving ideas in a package headlined, “Wake up, City Hall.”

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

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