What front pages reveal about us

The struggles of the newspaper industry have been well — perhaps too well — documented in recent years but today’s front pages of Minnesota newspapers show how they’re trying to adapt to survive in a world of breaking news — de-emphasize it.

Yesterday’s top story — the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington — got little front page attention around the state today.

The Pioneer Press and Star Tribune put the story below “the fold.” The Pioneer Press emphasized a fine profile of a Vietnam vet with post-traumatic stress syndrome. The shooting played third banana to that and the continuing flap over the St. Croix bridge.


The Star Tribune headlined the legislative auditor’s report on the apparently out-of-control Metro Gang Strike Force and the presidential elections in Iran.


The Duluth News Tribune played the shooting — or at least the Minnesota connection — big.


The Mankato Free Press found no room at the top of the front page:


At the bottom of the page, Miss California and the shooting vied for space. Miss California won.


The St. Cloud Times was one of the few newspapers that gave it top-story attention:


You are the editor. How would you have placed the story?

Nationally, it wasn’t much different. The New York Times played it low-key.


… which makes Bill Keller’s comments in this spoof all the more interesting.

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Meanwhile, over at the Huffington Post — said to be the biggest threat to newspapers — the story is still playing big with an obvious second-day lede.