March 28, 2003

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Baghdad, brawling and a hoaxer fill front pages

Violence in Baghdad’s U.S.-protected Green Zone topped front pages in many newspapers.

In Monterey, Calif., The Herald’s editors put the story in the lead position, with the headline, “Iraqi PM vows fight to the end in Basra,” and an arresting photo of a Shiite woman wearing a photo of a radical cleric on her veil.

“Baghdad, Basra on fire — Bush upbeat in speech,” the San Francisco Chronicle said. The Orange County (Calif.) Register deemed it one of “6 must-read stories you’ll find inside today’s paper,” with a photo of the prime minister and his “Vow to restore order.” “Barrage rocks Green Zone,” reported the Wilmington, Del., News Journal.

An all-too-frequent image of mourning Iraqi parents topped The Day in New London, Conn., with “Al-Maliki Vows Fight to the End.” “Iraqi leader cracks down on militants,” The Miami Herald said. The Idaho Statesman in Boise offered some perspective with an AP story headlined, “Iraqi premier plays for big stakes in Shiite showdown.”

In Redding, Calif., the FBI’s announcement that a contractor kidnapped in Iraq was dead was a local story. “Munns’ death confirmed/Anderson man one of four kidnapped workers ID’d,” the Record Searchlight said.

An AP story about organized extreme fighting among the grade-school set raised editorial hackles across the country. “Midwest sees rise of kiddie combat,” reported the Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel, with photos of brawling youngsters.

In media news, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post had a story about the local man who duped the Los Angeles Times by providing the newspaper with fake FBI documents about the death of rapper Tupac Shakur. The Times apologized for the story on Thursday.

prhule@newseum.org Patty Rhule is a project editor at the Newseum.

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