Brittany Murphy Is Not Big Enough for the Broadsheets

The tabloids share a headline on the story of Brittany Murphy's death. The broadsheets either didn't think it merited much front page space, or the news broke too late for them. They covered the snow though! And the mafia!

Weather is perhaps the quintessential news story — it affects everyone (except agoraphobics) requires some reporting and lends itself well, usually, to pictures. Hence the New York Times and Washington Post lead with the snowstorms. Elsewhere the grinding along of the healthcare bill gets a lot of coverage. The Wall Street Journal and LA Times also look into the death of a prominent Iranian dissident.

And here are more stories that put words in a pleasant order to facilitate your reading and understanding certain concepts:

  • The New York Times say that senators are sneaking pet projects into the healthcare bill.
  • The Washington Post has a nice piece from Mali, a moderate African nation in the midst of more troubled neighbors.
  • And the Wall Street Journal tells us why an Italian town had to cancel Christmas to fight the mob.

Disclosure: I freelance write and report for newspapers that are included in this roundup. Where there is a direct conflict of interest I will make it clear.

The New York Times: sent a big gun — in the shape of Pulitzer prize-winning photographer Damon Winter — to capture the snow storms. Employers are hiring more staff on a temporary basis, and Senators are sneaking pet causes into the healthcare bill. The paper also reports on a mock-Afghan town used to train troops, on efforts to teach kids younger and on Chinese labor practices.

The Washington Post: also report on the snow, and the healthcare bill's passage through the Senate. There's an interesting piece on Mali, a moderate African nation in a region where many fear radical Islam is fomented, and the Fed did not adequately regulate banks.

The LA Times: leads with questions over a recent forest fire, and the news that the healthcare bill is moving along. The death of an Iranian dissident could galvanize the protest movement in that country, college is expensive and the feature is about a beloved but controversial Catholic priest.

The Wall Street Journal: leads with the news on the healthcare bill, and also has the story of the Iranian dissident's death. A hedge fund has made billions this year, by betting against a full-blown depression and an Italian town has canceled Christmas because of the mob.



The New York Post: leads with the tragic news about Brittany Murphy. It's been a big end-of-year for tabloid stories — and it's hard to imagine anything will knock Murphy from the cover soon. Especially as reporters are probably currently looking for any footholds they can find on new angles.

The Daily News: has precisely the same headline as the Post. Which goes to show there's sometimes only one good way of saying something.

Tampa Bay Times: firstly, puns are sort-of banned immediately after someone dies. Secondly, this is a really bad pun.

Chicago Sun-Times: decides to worry everyone who's making old people drive to them for the holidays.