A deal has been struck. The government shut down has been — well, shut down. A deal to raise the debt limit has been reached.
The Republicans went into this debacle having made unrealistic promises to the citizens who elected them and they came out of it looking petty and foolish. The Democrats came out of it looking marginally better — but only because they didn’t talk themselves out of losing their advantage of numbers.
But not from a lack of trying. Man, those Democrats sure run their mouths a lot.
Make no mistake, though: The Democrats didn’t win — Instead, the Republicans hurled themselves off a cliff. I’d argue that there were no winners at all here. Certainly not the American people.
And in just a few months, we’ll do it all again. Sigh.
In the meantime, here is a look at ten interesting takes on the most important government news since… well, since the Fiscal Cliff deal on New Year’s Eve.
1. DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE
For the past two weeks, a lot of papers have turned stock art of the Capitol building into centerpiece art. The D&C does it well here, but that’s not why I like most about this page.
What I like most is the main headline. Especially the “finally” bit.
UPDATE – 8:45 a.m.
This was designed by Abby Wescott of Gannett’s Asbury Park studio, who proudly tells us:
The headline was also my idea.
2. THE MONITOR
I’m not crazy about the layout of this page. It’s got a number of flaws:
- Too many elements are crammed above the fold. A little white space might have helped.
- I don’t like the way the photos seem to shift to the left when you get to the sidebar.
- The lead-in deck seems a bit too wordy
What I like about this page — and why I bring it to your attention — unlike many of the front page treatments you’ll see around the country today, this one acknowledges the political battle over U.S. fiscal policy is not over. This was just one more round in what will be a long, long war.
That’s not fun, but that’s the truth. The less we sugar-coat that for readers, the better informed they’ll be.
3. THE FORUM
The champion today at making this very point, however, has to be the Forum of Fargo, N.D.
Savvy observers complained that Wednesday’s deal didn’t solve anything; it just kicked the can down the road. The Forum actually illustrated this.
4. ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
St. Louis, Mo.
Rather than use its front-page real estate on huge stock art of the Capitol building or of oversized mugs of Boehner and Obama, the St. Louis paper went with a retro-like series of decks to relay the day’s major talking points to readers.
This was placed under a headline that, yes, implied that this was just one round of a longer war.
Interestingly, the Cardinals’ failure to clinch a World Series berth was pushed to the bottom of today’s front page.
The young man wearing the baseball jersey could almost be reacting to the main news package above.
5. NEWS & RECORD
The Greensboro paper picked up this thread I’m advocating here and took it a step further: It went out and asked local folks what they think about the partisan battles in D.C. this month. That became the focal point of the front-page presentation, rather than the deal itself.
“Bitter squabbles are not likely to stop.” Right.
However, consider this: North Carolina is in the middle of its own Tea Party-like political battles at the state level. I’d be curious to see that same treatment, but talking to folks who say stuff like: “Hell, yeah! I elected my Congressman to go up to Warshington (sic) to repeal Obamacare, and I don’t care how he does it. I’m GLAD they shut the government down. I say KEEP it shut down.”
I’ve spent most of my life in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. I know these folks are out there. I see their comments attached to the bottom of online news stories.
But I’m not seeing them very often on page one.
This isn’t to criticize what the Greensboro paper did today — I like it quite a lot. This is just an observation.
6. OMAHA WORLD-HERALD
The Omaha paper decided to focus on the vote itself.
The little box at right summing up the deal is quite nice.
7. QUAD-CITY TIMES
This is the only non-front-page I’ll show you today. And I’m showing it to you because a) The editor/designer sent it to me overnight. And b) I think it’s very, very nice.
Nate Bloomquist of the Quad-City Times tells us:
I was inspired by NPR’s graphic from a week ago that was making the rounds on Facebook, so I made my own debt graphic.
I pulled pieces from AP stories and other sources for the explainer at the top. There were several sources to find the raw data, but the best is the Government Accountability Office. There is all kinds of useful stuff there.
It was great to get plenty of feedback from the Lee design hub in Munster, Ind., and a designer there, Claire Moreno, built my icons at the top of the page after I decided on the color scheme. Everything came together really well, and I’ve quite pleased with what I have here.
8. DES MOINES REGISTER
Des Moines, Iowa
A number of papers went with photoillustrations today. One of the better ones was this one by my old friend Mark Marturello of the Des Moines Register.
Mark’s work was used by the Gannett Design Studio on two other papers that I could find: The Press Citizen of Iowa City (circulation 12,130) and the Daily Advertiser of Lafayette, La. (circulation 29,368).
Perhaps the most fun today was had by youth-oriented tabloid versions of major metros.
This wacky cover illustrated by the Chicago Tribune‘s RedEye reminds me very much of the kind of work you find at JibJab.
Unfortunately, the illustration is not credited.
Perhaps the most amusing photoillustration of the day, however, is this one afront the Washington Post‘s Express tab.
Amusing… if you’re not a Republican, that is.
All these pages but the one from the Quad-City Times are from the Newseum. Of course.