Following the heartbreaking suicide of a 14-year-old high school student in nearby Primghar, Iowa, last Sunday the Sioux City Journal cleared off its front page today for a powerful, full-page anti-bullying editorial.

Click for a much larger view.

The art is by Brian Duffy, a nationally-syndicated cartoonist based in Des Moines. Brian spent 25 years as cartoonist for the Des Moines Register, which regularly ran his work on page one. After the Register laid him off in December 2008, Brian moved to the alt-weekly CityView and KCCI Channel 8. Find his web site here.

The black-and-white approach Brian took here really adds to the serious mood of the page. It also lends it a bit of a retro feel.

Find today’s anti-bulling editorial here.

UPDATE – 3:45 p.m.

Mitch Pugh, editor of the Journal, tells us:

Diane Cunningham designed the page. An assist should be given to Ben Cunningham, design director for our regional design center in Munster. They did a terrific job, especially when you consider they were working primarily with text.

We have published editorials on A1 before but this is the first time we cleared the page for such a piece. We believe that as a community news organization one of our critical responsibilities is to serve as a strong advocate for the well-being of our community. This page underscores that belief.

The tragic loss of Kenneth Weishuhn came the same week that the documentary Bully debuted in Sioux City. Filmed in part in Sioux City schools, the film is a powerful look at bullying in our schools and our communities. The confluence of events struck us as an opportunity to shine light on an issue too many would rather ignore. Kenneth’s death is a sobering reminder of how much work remains to be done. We hope this editorial sparks continued dialogue, and we’ll be looking for ways to partner with key community leaders to keep this important issue in the spotlight.

Average daily circulation of the Sioux City Journal is 33,837.

Other full-front-page editorials we’ve seen over the past few years:


From left:

  • Dec. 5, 2008 – Detroit (Mich.) Free Press on a bailout for the auto industry

  • May 2, 2010 Phoenix Arizona Republicon immigration reform
  • Nov. 8, 2011 – Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News on the Penn State sex abuse scandal

Today’s front page is from the Newseum. Of course.