July 24, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Barack Obama is news in Berlin but not yet in all of Germany

Barack Obama in Berlin is a Berlin story but it’s not necessarily an all-German story, according to today’s front pages on our Web site. Perhaps tomorrow, but here’s what it looks like today.

In Berlin, Der Tagesspiegel gives over most of Page One to the visit, with a story proclaiming that “Berlin has high expectations of Obama” plus a commentary about the visit, while die tageszeitung fills Page One with a cartoon hero Obama as a sort of superman and the words “Come down!” and Die Welt is more sedate, referring to the meeting with the German chancellor in a story about her. In nearby Potsdam, the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten has a top-of-the-page piece about the high expectations for Obama.

As for the rest of Germany, the Braunschweiger Zeitung in Braunschweig and the Wolfsburger Nachrichten in Wolfsburg — basically the same dailies with different nameplates — carry a story at the bottom of Page One about “A reception as for a pop star,” while the Neue Westfaelische in Bielefeld has large color photo of a smiling chancellor with a reference to the Lehar operetta “The Land of Smiles” and a caption noting her meeting today with Obama. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich has a story about “Tens of thousands want to experience Obama,” while the Suedwest Presse in Ulm and the Nuernberger Nachrichten in Nuremberg have shorter stories about the visit, even as the Financial Times Deutschland in Hamburg teases an inside piece about the meeting of Obama and the chancellor.

For the rest of our newspapers in Germany, the upcoming visit doesn’t rate front page coverage. Indeed, even the European edition of the newspaper for the American troops, Stars and Stripes, published in Griesheim, has nothing out front about the visit, playing up the 60th anniversary of the integration of the armed forces. The Fuldaer Zeitung in Fulda uses the top of Page One to play up a meeting in Denmark about Christmas to come — complete with a photo of a bunch of Santa Clauses and a banner in English proclaiming “Merry Christmas” while the Weser Kurier and the Bremer Nachrichten, both in Bremen, attract some attention with an unusual, big photo of six young storks standing up in their nest.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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