In deciding stories vying for limited front-page space of newspapers, savvy editors consider interest to readers in their circulation areas. So it’s rather surprising to Grumpy Editor that announcement of a long-sought cost-of-living increase for 58 million Americans --- that's one fifth of the population --- didn’t make many opening pages yesterday across the country.
It indicated not all editors are fully tuned in as to what is news. Or perhaps they were distracted in watching Wednesday night's opening game of the World Series.
News that financially-squeezed Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will see monthly benefits rise 3.6 percent starting in January was especially newsworthy because it marks the first increase since 2009.
It also indicated inflation isn’t so “tame” (as media have labeled it for many months) after all.
An extensive survey of U.S. newspapers by Grumpy Editor uncovered few dailies yesterday placed the COLA story on front pages.
Among those that did:
The Washington Times, with the COLA for Social Security and SSI recipients as one of five front-page stories.
The News Journal, Wilmington, Del., had it as one of four front-page pieces.
The Garden Island, Lihue, Hawaii, made it one of four front-page stories.
Others that ran the development as a front-page one-sentence “refer” to stories on inside pages included:
The New York Times
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
San Francisco Chronicle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Among key dailies skipping any front-page mention:
The Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Denver Post, Hartford Courant, Washington Post, The Miami Herald, Tampa Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, The Indianapolis Star, South Bend (Indiana) Tribune, The Des Moines Register, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, The Detroit News, Star Tribune (Indianapolis), Kansas City Star, Omaha World-Herald, The Star-Ledger (Newark), Albuquerque Journal, The Oklahoman, The (Portland) Oregonian, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Dallas Morning News.
And how did The Wall Street Journal treat it? The business paper combined the latest consumer price index (mentioned in a front-page refer) with the Social Security COLA information on page A6.