How difficult is it to find newspapers these days?
Judging from some correspondence I receive, it’s not easy.
As a case in point, Camille Wheeler [ blog | Facebook ] went in search of an Austin American-Statesman newspaper rack through the streets of her hometown yesterday. As the capital of the state of Texas and one of its hippest and most visited cities, Austin is by any measure a thriving community. Newspaper racks however are hard to come by.
After scouring Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, where I have seen racks in years past, I finally found a newspaper rack in East Austin, on Rosedale Avenue, outside a small grocery/convenience store.
I was struck at how the placard placed inside the rack — “Statesman Sold Inside” — represented the permanent emptiness of the rack and the evolution of big-city newspapers: The model still very much exists, but finding an actual newspaper to read is not so easy.
Inside the store, I found one copy of Wednesday’s Statesman on the bottom shelf of a display rack, hard to see beneath the Texas Lottery scratch-off game tickets stacked above.
That said, in many parts of the world finding a newspaper is still easier than picking the winning lottery numbers. In France for instance, where racks and corner newspaper shops, still known as the tabac, are plentiful.
Below at left is part of yesterday’s offerings at the St Placide metro station near Montparnasse in the French capital sent along by Julie Klene Gonzalez [ blog | Facebook ], and at right, a scene from a typical tabac in Montpelier shared by photographer Yuri Rasin [ website | Facebook ].
And you can get lottery tickets here, too.
Welcome to the sixth edition of Wednesday’s Headlines, a weekly survey of the world’s headlines through images of newspapers taken and submitted each Wednesday by Piran Cafe readers and contributors from across the planet. The project’s goals are two-fold: to provide a representative overview of what’s transpiring on the globe on any given Wednesday and to provide an insightful interpretation of the human relationships that still exist with newspapers in different parts of the world.
This week, another record on nearly all counts: 23 contributors answered the call with 36 images from 24 cities in 16 countries and territories. Many thanks to all! Please take a few minutes to 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.
With the second state primary elections taking place on Tuesday, the main topic across the U.S. were the victories in New Hampshire by Donald Trump on the Republican side and Senator Bernie Sanders among the Democrats. With both well ahead in the polls in the New England state for weeks, neither victory was considered a big surprise.
Morse also passed along two more shots from the station, with a brief description of this part of the east coast’s newspaper landscape:
The Boston Globe and the Herald are the local papers; also available are the New York Daily News, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal. (The New York Times didn’t make it into my shots.) The reputations of these papers are, roughly speaking, center-left, conservative, very left, very right, and conservative.
Unsurprisingly the primary topic of the headlines is the New Hampshire primary held on Tuesday, with New Hampshire less than an hour drive north of Boston. The political rise of Donald Trump is handled differently based on the stridency of the paper’s editorial stance; the Daily News front page is an outright cartoon of Trump, whereas the more right-wing and mainstream papers take a more restrained approach and just report on the primary victory.
But, Morse notes, there was more than just the primary.
Buried at the bottom of the Globe’s front page is an indication that deeper in the paper is a story about a riot in Finland which involved a troupe of clowns and the rights of refugees, a mix I can’t begin to wrap my head around just now.
Above, the reactions from Chicago’s papers from Diane Duke [ blog | Facebook ] and below from another Daily News, in this case the second largest paper in the Los Angeles metro area, from Brad Nixon and Marcy Vincent [ blog | Facebook ], who note that getting this picture required a road trip.
The back story to buying this paper, not distributed in our part of vast LA, is that we visited an actual newsstand. They’re not that common in Los Angeles. This one is at the venerable Farmer’s Market, an LA landmark.
We were disappointed that there were relatively few newspapers. They had Le Monde, The Guardian, Financial Times, but primarily national U.S. papers: none of the variety of LA papers that are published daily here in Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc., and only La Opinion in Spanish.
Today’s Daily News stories show the national news: the New Hampshire primary; the regional news: an ongoing attempt to address LA’s massive population of homeless people; and at the fold, a local story that has dominated The Valley for weeks, about a disastrous gas leak that’s sickened and displaced scores of people.
This week’s lead photo at top, features the stand’s exterior; below is a snapshot of Nixon to remember his visit to the newsstand. Are we on the verge of a new trend in niche tourism, that of “Tours of where newspapers were once sold”?
Not every paper in the U.S. focused on New Hampshire.
From Durango, Colorado, Tom Garcia [ Facebook ] points out that much of the state is still recovering from the hangover of Sunday’s Super Bowl victory by the Denver Broncos.
“Besides the Broncos win,”Garcia notes, “Everything else seems trivial.”
Before heading across the Atlantic, North America’s parting shot again comes from Renfrew County, Ontario, Canada, where Rob Bersan [ Soundcloud ] checks in again with the day’s headlines from nearby Eganville. We’re both glad to see that there are no reports of murder or mayhem this week from the community of 3600.
Eric Bellamy [Twitter] checks in from Dublin with a double dose from the Irish capital. Both the Independent and Times focus on a recent spate of inner city killings, arguing that the Gardai, the local authorities, lack the resources to handle gang-related crime.
“I like local news because the good news story still always makes it on the front page despite whatever disasters have also occurred and you don’t get much happier than kids racing while flipping pancakes.”
Here in Slovenia meanwhile, more bleak economic news.
The daily Dnevnik leads with a report that the Krka pharmaceutical company, Slovenia’s most profitable firm, saw it sales to Russia, a key market, drop by one-fifth over the past year.
From neighbor to the west Italy, travel blogger Claudia Tavani [ Website | Facebook] checks in with the day’s edition of Il Fatto Quotidiano, a national daily that leads with news about upcoming local elections.
And from Austria, our good neighbor to the north, sportswriter Olaf Brockmann [ Facebook ] checks in with a pair of cover shots from Wednesday’s Kronen Zeitung, the country’s largest paper which boasts a readership of three million daily, to illustrate how newspapers can and do still vary between the same day’s editions.
The first shows a so-called kolporteur selling Wednesday’s first edition on Tuesday night near the entrance to the Heiligenstadt metro station. Brockmann bought this one at 7:30 that evening on his way to a concert. The edition’s main story, ‘Ansturm auf die EURO-Tickets’, reports on the massive shortfall of tickets available to Austrians for this year’s European Football (soccer) Championship. The front page image is from a train accident in Bavaria.
The second shot, taken on Wednesday, features the same image from Bavaria but the lead story is about a father who killed his two-year-old son.
We move on to Athens where Pierre Kosmidis [ blog | Facebook ] is reading about how the country’s economic woes are contributing to the sorry state of emergency health services in in Greece. he writes:
One out of two ambulances are out of service, up to 30 minute response time for urgent assistance, between 4500 and 5000 emergency response calls are received per day. Patients and their relatives are turning against the first aid personnel, but it’s not their fault.
Michele Legge [ Blog | Facebook ], who along with husband Ron began the third year of their around-the-world motorcycle trip last month, checks in again from Croatia, this time from Zadar and the day’s edition of Vecernji List, one of the country’s main dailies.
But she didn’t stop there.
Legge also introduces us to her friend Mick, who is currently following in the footsteps of his grandfather via his 100-year-old World War I diary. By bicycle.
Here are two newspapers he crossed paths with yesterday in Turkey. You can and should follow his journey on his Facebook page Je Suis Catweazle.
Perhaps feeling a bit homesick, Legge also passed along a shot of yesterday’s West Australian which was forwarded from her friend Barbara back home in Perth.
Likewise, Camille Wheeler, mentioned in the intro, passed along images from her friend Lori Vines, a fellow Austinite, who checks in with shots of three of the day’s papers she came across in Umina Beach on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
I’m looking forward to being back in the region next week.
South America & the Caribbean
Back in the western hemisphere, Silvana Cedeño [ blog | Facebook ] checks in from Punta Cana airport in the Domincan Republic where she was able to find a newspaper, but was disappointed that she had to wade through two pages of St. Valentine’s Day ads before finding some actual news.
She was on here way back to Santiago, Chile, where she’s studying, and where she’ll be reunited with La Tercera (below), one of the country’s largest national dailies. That image was sent along by Alejandra Sanchez, who was passing through the Chilean capital this week. I bet they didn’t know they’d be crossing paths here.
And speaking of not being able to find papers, Amy Borgstrom passes along this self-portrait taken yesterday at the Federal Center SW Metro stop in Washington DC, a corner shrouded in mystery. Says Borgstrom:
I think there is one of these in every metro station but I have no idea how they are used.
Can someone help?
Last but hardly least, we return with a quick look at today’s special early edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, courtesy of Diane Duke and her assistant JP. To both of you, MANY thanks. You rock! I’ve always wanted to be front page news. 🙂
Early warning: Due to travel and other work commitments, Wednesday’s Headlines will be taking a break next week. The project will resume with Edition #7 on Wednesday 24 February.
In the meantime, check out previous editions and participation details here. And please spread the word.
And finally, if we haven’t already, let’s connect.
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