Wednesday’s Headlines #5

I’m going to go way out on a limb right now –I mean way way out– and declare that Piran Café is the only website on the planet today where front pages of the Richfield Reaper and Tiedonantaja sit happily side-by-side.

The two probably couldn’t be much farther apart editorially (out on that limb again, I know) and at least this week, physically.

The Reaper –which also gets the nod for Newspaper Title of the Week honors– is the weekly community paper for rural Richfield, Utah, population 7500, which lies in the heart of western North America’s Mormon Corridor.

Tiedonantaja, published in Helsinki, is the weekly official party organ of the Communist Party of Finland, circulation 6000.

This unlikely meeting is something that can only happen on Wednesday’s Headlines. You’re welcome.

Welcome to the fifth edition of this new weekly project which I hope will evolve into both a representative survey of what’s transpiring on the globe on any given Wednesday and also an insightful interpretation of the human relationships that still exist with newspapers in different parts of the world.

This week, a record on all counts: 23 contributors answered the call with 30 images from 24 cities in 15 countries and territories. Many thanks to all! When you have a few minutes, check out the contributors’ websites and blogs and follow them on social media.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to take part; please check out the few simple rules here. Please spread the word and enjoy.


So, back briefly to the week’s unlikeliest couple. Many thanks to Michael Merline for introducing us to the weekly from his corner of south-central Utah and to tireless travel blogger Margherita Ragg [ blog | Facebook ] who sent the photo of Tiedonantaja from Haparanda, Sweden, on the Swedish-Finnish border in Lapland, the week’s northernmost contribution.

While neither was published yesterday, they’re both weeklies and these are their current editions (as of Wednesday), so I’m allowing inclusion. When you’re given titles like The Reaper and Tiedonantaja to work with, you make room in your rules for amendments.

South America

From the week’s northernmost dispatch we go to the southernmost, to Punta Arenas, Chile, passed along by Alejandra Sanchez.

The lead photo at top, and this one below, displays the day’s editions of the Chilean national dailies El Mercurio and Las Ultimas Noticias, but what caught my eye was the cover of Patagon Journal and its cover tribute to conservationist and North Face founder Douglas Tompkins who died in a kayaking accident in December at 72.

Punta Arenas 2016-02-03 2

Together with his wife Kris, a former CEO of Patagonia, the couple owned more than two million acres in Argentine and Chilean Patagonia; portions of Chilean lands they’ve already donated to the state have become national parks. I wrote briefly about Tompkins here when I spent a few days in Chaitén, the town destroyed by its eponymous volcano in 2008.

Tompkins was somewhat of a divisive figure in the area and I’m very curious to read Patagon’s thoughts about his legacy.

By the way, I visited Punta Arenas once, arriving for my brief stay exactly three years ago today. Time flies.

North America

Back north to the US where the 2016 presidential election officially kicked off with the Iowa Caucuses on Monday. Predictably, the analyses continued in yesterday’s papers with the focus shifting towards the next stop, the primary election in the northeastern state of New Hampshire, coming up on Tuesday.

In Iowa, ultra conservative Senator Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump in the Republican race while Hillary Clinton barely edged Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. The matter in which they won were considered surprises; Trump has been dominating the headlines and polls in the Republican battle while Sanders was trailing Clinton by a substantial margin just a few months ago.

Below are the front pages of The New York Times via Kip Silverman [ website | Facebook ] and the Philadelphia Enquirer via Travel blogger Suzanne Fluhr [ website | Facebook ] who notes, “It’s going to be a looong nine months until the general election in November.”

From Los Angeles, Brad Nixon and Marcy Vincent [ blog | Facebook ] share the importance that the diversity of media outlets play in the U.S., in this case Spanish language newspapers:

With nearly 10 million people, the greater Los Angeles area has residents who speak several dozen languages. The first language of the city was Spanish, and there are several million Spanish speakers here. Two large Spanish language dailies, La Opinion and Hoy have wide circulation. La Opinion is the city’s second largest newspaper by circulation after the L.A. Times.

On [Wednesday’s] front pages, The Times featured local crime and police stories, while the Daily Breeze, the principal English language paper serving our LA South Bay area, focused on the area’s large port and refinery industries.

La Opinion, however, featured a post-Iowa-caucuses story about Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio. Inside on page 9, a related article addressed the question of why Latinos are not celebrating with Rubio’s competitor, Ted Cruz, the Iowa Republican winner. Both men are sons of Cuban immigrants, and their divergent approach to their Hispanic identity and relative views about the Hispanic American community and its issues, notably immigration, are of great concern to the large Hispanic population.

From elsewhere in the U.S.:

  • Amy Borgstrom passes along the the day’s edition of the Washington DC Express from her apartment’s lobby in suburban Arlington, Virginia;
  • Parker Morse [ Twitter | Instagram ] checks in from a newsstand in Boston’s South Station;
  • Diane Duke [ blog | Facebook ] checks in with Chicago’s dailies and USA Today;
  • and from Durango, Colorado and Portland, Oregon, where Tom Garcia [ Facebook ] and Kip Silverman (links above) check in with the covers of the Durango Herald and The Oregonian where marijuana is among the day’s main themes.


We round out the week’s U.S. coverage from Crockett, California, a community of 3200 situated in the rolling hills of the Carquinez Strait about 30 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Writes Shane Keven Reinhart [ blog | Twitter ]:

Crockett CA 2016-02-03

The little hamlet of Crockett in Contra Costa County has a little store, the J&L Market, carrying the two main newspapers for the area. The years-long drought in California is always news, as is this winter’s sweet rains. Today, the big city paper sees the water glass half empty, while the county paper sees the water glass half full.

Before heading back across the Atlantic, North America’s parting shot comes from Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada, where Rob Bersan [ Soundcloud ] checks in again with the day’s headlines from nearby Eganville, population 3600.

The front page reminded me of how much I enjoyed Twin Peaks.

Eganville 2016-02-03


In Europe, this week we’ll travel north to south beginning with Eric Bellamy [Twitter] who checks in from London and Pal Ujvarosi [ website | Twitter ] from Amsterdam.

The London Times leads with the debate in the UK over what rights refugees and migrants should be entitled to.

In the Dutch capital Pal’s Indonesian colleague Hastomi models with the day’s Noordhollands Dagblad which reports that mortgage advisers aren’t necessarily doing the best jobs for their clients.

Who knew?

Onward to Vienna where sports writer Olaf Brockmann [ Facebook ] –like Diane Duke above– maintains a perfect five-for-five Wednesday’s Headlines record.

This week he dispatched two images: the first a survey of the day’s Austrian newspapers (along with the latest issue of the German athletics weekly Leichtathletik) from the offices of his paper Kronen Zeitung; and the second, a portrait of himself getting a trim at the Der Schützenauer barber shop in the Austrian capital’s 19th district.

“Barber shops are still a very good place to read the newspapers,” Brockmann said.

Here in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana the daily Dnevnik reported on the Iowa Caucuses with the headline “Trump beaten and humbled” and to the right, on the refugee situation in Sweden in a story entitled, “Sweden: a migrant’s paradise with mistakes”.

I often tell people that Slovenia, despite its size, is nonetheless the center of the universe. The connection here is that Trump’s third wife, Melania, is a former model from Slovenia.

Further down the Balkan route, Zika Bogdanovich [ Facebook ] passes along this shot of a typical newsstand in the Serbian capital Belgrade where apparently there is no shortage of Kim Kardashian look-a-likes.

Beograd 2016-02-03

Australian blogger Michele Legge [ Blog | Facebook ] and her husband Ron celebrated their 26th anniversary in Šibenik, Croatia, yesterday, but still made the time to pass along a photo of yesterday’s Slobodna Dalmacija, the main Dalmatian daily.

Last month the couple celebrated the second anniversary of the start of their around-the-world trip by motorcycle, during which they’ve covered some 75,000 kilometers and passed through 29 countries.

Sibenik 2016-02-03

And from Athens, Pierre Kosmidis [ blog | Facebook ] passes along this survey of the leading Greek papers which were reporting on the government’s proposal for a top end 50 percent income tax instead of an increase in social security payments. More details are here.

Athens GRE 2016-02-03 2

Middle East and Asia

Our Asian survey begins with Chaitanya Shah [ website | Facebook ] who checks in from Mumbai on The Indian Express.

Indian Express 2016-02-03

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha [ Blog ] joins us from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with this survey of the local press. Here too the results from the Iowa Caucuses received a fair bit of play, along with reports on the Syrian peace talks. The latter were suspended yesterday just a few days after they began.

Mo’ath Alkhawaldeh [ website | Facebook ] from Amman passes along The Jordan Times which is reporting that the refugee burden from neighboring Syria is reaching a “boiling point”.

Amman 2016-02-03

And via Diala Isid [ website | Facebook ] in Ramallah, The West Bank, the day’s edition of Al Ayam which leads with a report on the Israeli demolition of 23 homes in two impoverished West Bank villages.

Al Ayam 2016-02-03

My birthday is next Thursday. The best gift I could ask for would be to not have to read, for just one day, about bloodshed, forced resettlement or other injustice in this part of the world. Not because it went unreported, but because it didn’t actually occur.


Many thanks again to everyone who participated. To join in next week, and subsequent weeks after that, check out the details here. And please spread the word. Wishing a great week ahead to you all!

And finally, if we haven’t already, let’s connect.

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