Front Page Friday: The Arizona Republic

It is that time of the week again. It is time to look at my favorite newspaper front page of the week.

As always, I culled through the front pages shown at Newseum.org and picked my favorite.

The Arizona Republic

This is the May 2, 2010 front page editorial wrap of The Arizona Republic.

On Sunday, The Arizona Republic took a stand on a very sensitive topic — illegal immigration and Senate Bill 1070, which aims to “identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants” by making “the failure to carry immigration

documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.”

Citizens of Arizona feel very strongly about this topic, and as the voice of the state, The Republic decided to tackle the issue in a grand fashion.

It ran two front pages — a front page wrap and a true front page beneath it.

The wrap front page of the Sunday edition was a giant editorial, which included the names of politicians the paper claimed have failed the state.

The editorial didn’t specifically support either side of the SB 1070 debate. It said the law was being put into place wasn’t the answer, yet critics of it weren’t doing any better either:

“The federal government is abdicating its duty on the border. Arizona politicians are pandering to public fear. The result is a state law that intimidates Latinos while doing nothing to curb illegal immigration.”

This is the May 2, 2010 true front page of The Arizona Republic.

And the true front page beneath the editorial wrap was a traditional, news-filled front page, which had a very nice centerpiece package.

However, it was the editorial wrap that caught my eye. It’s an opinion page editorial on steroids, and it makes a great point — SB 1070 was an attempt, albeit a poor one, at solving a problem; it didn’t work, so more work needs to be done.

I like to see a newspaper take a bold stance and be a voice of the people it serves. The Arizona Republic is engaging in civic journalism, which as I remember from Alan Montgomery’s journalism classes at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College was started by a Kansas editor named Davis “Buzz” Merritt.

More news organizations need to do this kind of editorializing, especially on hot-button issues, if they can bring something valuable to the conversation as The Republic did.

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About toddvogts 804 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, MJE, is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association, among others. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.