March 25, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Olympics torch-lighting and protests re Tibet make Page One for European newspapers

This seemed like a good day to see what European newspapers are telling their readers.

Starting with A for Austria, the Kurier in Vienna has a banner head “What health costs,” offering to tell you on Pages 2 and 3 what the experts say about how one can save and what changes there will be for the patients. In Brussels, Belgium, DeMorgen leads with the start-up of the new government but also offers a photo of the Tibet protest at the lighting of the Olympic torch. In Prague, beautiful capital of the Czech Republic, Prazsky Denik plays up the Olympic torch-lighting with a large photo of a Greek woman holding aloft a ceremonial bowl. Der Tagesspiegel in Berlin does the Olympic torch story in artistic fashion, with a five-column photo that finds the torch held high enough to go through the nameplate, a story quoting the International Olympic Committee that “Olympics help the people of Tibet,” while next to the photo in the space where one may generally find an editorial is a comparison of Olympics — “Berlin 1936, Peking 2008.” Still in Germany, Stars and Stripes plays up for its military audience the 4,000th U.S. troop death in Iraq. As one might expect in the birthplace of the Olympics, the Greek daily Makedonia in Thessaloniki gives over much of Page One to the games.

Nepszabadsag in Budapest also plays up the Olympic games, both the torch ceremony and the protests, while la Repubblica in Rome also reports on the protest but plays up the troop situation, including Italians, in Iraq, even as Gazeta Wyborcza in Warsaw leads with domestic news but finds Page One space for a story and photo of the Olympic protest. SME in Bratislava, Slovakia, does the same, including an arty photo of the lighting of the Olympic torch, while Avui in Barcelona, Spain, has two Olympic pictures — the protest and the lighting of the torch. El Mundo in Madrid skips the Olympics but does have a Page One story about the 4,000th U.S. death in Iraq, while the Basler Zeitung in Basel, Switzerland, also goes for the big, arty, Page One Olympic picture, while reporting “Flame lit, ceremony disturbed.” Finally, The Daily Telegraph in London has a big photo and the head “Tibet protesters disrupt Olympics ceremony” but two stories at the bottom of the page attracted this reader’s attention. One, that “Muslims ‘will soon outnumber traditional churchgoers’” and the other about the French president, claiming that “Sarkozy ‘appy to try English on the Queen.”

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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