July 10, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

What’s behind national headlines? Local stories

Some stories made national headlines today, but to communities and their newspapers, the stories were local.

Ramsey murder investigation: “DA: Ramseys didn’t do it,” the Rocky Mountain News proclaimed. The Denver Post showed excerpts of a letter to JonBenét Ramsey’s family from the Boulder district attorney, exonerating the child’s parents in her 1996 death.

Return to the Senate: The Boston Globe and the Cape Cod Times used photos of Edward Kennedy to share the news that the Massachusetts senator who is being treated for brain cancer made a surprise return to Capitol Hill to cast a vote for a Medicare bill.

California wildfires: The Herald in Monterey used three of its five front-page stories for fire news, leading with an emergency road closure and a mandatory evacuation. “10,000 Flee Fires,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reported, adding: “First wave of Guardsmen heads to front lines today.” The Bakersfield Californian incorporated a firefighting image into its nameplate and said: “Fires eluding containment.”

Northwest Airlines cuts: Fees and job cuts were Page One news in communities that serve as airline hubs. “NWA feels air pressure,” The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., said. “Airline adds luggage, frequent-flier charges; 2,500 layoffs planned,” said the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. The Detroit News noted an ominous “Analysts warn airline may need to cut even deeper to offset soaring fuel costs.”

New Census data: Some cities found good news in the release of population figures for 2007. The Indianapolis Star offered bulleted highlights of “How we’re growing.” The Tennessean created a centerpiece package after Nashville was designated the 25th largest city.

Cleveland had the largest decline, and The Plain Dealer turned over much of its front page to the story, mapping and charting the loss for its area and the national stats.

Columbus, Ga., had the largest population loss among cities its size. That wasn’t mentioned on Page One of the Ledger-Enquirer. But to the east, The Augusta Chronicle seemed happy to note Columbus’s loss and reported: “Augusta’s population stands pat.”

Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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