Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Room for Ronnie?

Next Thursday is the fourth anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's death. I recently discovered that the Newseum web site includes an archive containing the front pages of many daily newspapers. The site's archive list includes historical dates during the past few years. One of those dates was Reagan's death on June 6, 2004. Interestingly, the vast majority of daily newspapers in the country devoted most or all of their front pages to that story the day after Reagan died. In our area, both the Wichita Eagle and the Kansas City Star were amongst the newspapers to honor Reagan with their entire front pages. The Lawrence Journal-World, however, included just a thumbnail photo of Reagan and about three column inches of copy on its front page.

The Journal-World also included a story on Roy Creek, a local resident who had parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, which occurred 60 years earlier on June 6. This story certainly warranted front-page placement. However, it seems that the huge AP file photo, the AP story on drought "menacing western half of Kansas" (Lawrence is in the eastern half of Kansas), and the article on a visit to France could have been moved to the inside pages to allow more coverage of Reagan on the front page.

Of course, if you're a liberal editor working for a liberal newspaper, not giving Reagan, the man who ended the Cold War, adequate coverage on the front page might be the natural thing to do.

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