April 8, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Olympic torch trouble in Paris makes some European front pages

As we started to look at the U.S. front pages this morning and found much coverage of the Olympic torch relay in Paris beleaguered by protests against host China and its activities in Tibet, we thought that we would check out the European reporting of the fracas. The coverage is there, albeit spottier than we anticipated.

We’re not here to second-guess our colleagues, but the one Paris front page we saw, La Tribune, a business daily, had other stories for Page One, while the European edition of The Wall Street Journal published in Brussels, Belgium, felt the violence was worth a Page One photo and story about “Torch protests in Europe anger Chinese globally.”

The Kleine Zeitung in Graz, Austria, has a riot-type photo of Paris police in action taking up most of Page One with stories on pages six to eight. De Morgen in Brussels, Belgium, also goes for the police photo and starts the story on Page One, while Hospodarske Noviny in Prague, Czech Republic, has three pictures and a story. In Germany, from Der Taggespiegel in Berlin to the regional Heilbronner Stimme in Heilbronn there are photos and stories about the Olympic torch going out in Paris. Nepszabadsag in Budapest has a Page One photo below the fold with the unmistakable Eiffel Tower showing up clearly. In Italy, it’s big news, with pictures, from Corriere della Sera in Milan to La Stampa in Torino. The Basler Zeitung in Basel, Switzerland, and AD in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, used the same photo of the relay runner with one hand on his head and the other holding an empty torch. The Swiss editor labeled the picture “Torch without a flame,” but it sounds better in German. Gazeta Wyborcza in Warsaw, Poland, whoops up the story as does SME in Bratislava, Slovakia, while El Mundo in Madrid, Spain, plays the story at the bottom of the page.

As for the mother country, the “unlawful killing” verdict about the death of Princess Diana came in yesterday and nothing can trump a good story about the royal family, which tops the news in the London dailies.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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