If you live in the Mile High City (no pun intended), you woke up Sunday morning to this banner headline on your hometown paper’s front page:
Welcome to Weed Country
Happy Easter to you, too, Denver Post!
Another Colorado newspaper had a much better week than the Post — and not just because it won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. The Colorado Springs Gazette, edited my my friend and former colleague Joe Hight, filled up two-thirds of its Sunday front page with this headline:
The road to Chimayo
Yes, the Gazette published a major religion story — and not a marijuana tourism piece — on its Easter front page:
The road to Chimayo, N.M. is long and tiring during the Christian holy week leading up to Easter.
But the spirits of the estimated 30,000 to 50,000 pilgrims who walk for hours to reach a famous Roman Catholic church outside of Santa Fe are anything but weary.
George Warda of Parker has made the journey for the past 20 years. Maybe more; he’s lost count.
At about mile 13 of his 15-mile trek on Good Friday, Warda was sending thanks to God for his family’s blessings and praying for a little help with health challenges.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than this time,” he said. “It’s very spiritual. I wouldn’t miss it.”
Pilgrims, from babies in strollers to the elderly with canes, come from nearby towns and faraway states. Warda wore a Colorado T-shirt.
Across the nation, some papers — like the Post — failed to acknowledge Easter on the front page.
But many others — like the Gazette — recognized the news value of Christianity’s most important holiday.
From the Chicago Tribune’s “A prayer for Syria” report to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s “Celebrating Easter with a reawakened faith” story, a lot of meaty journalism landed in many readers’ driveways Sunday. (Earlier, GetReligion editor tmatt praised a noteworthy Baltimore Sun Pascha-Easter story.)
In my next post later this week, I’ll highlight the best of the front-page Easter stories that I came across. If you have one for me to consider, by all means, please provide a link. And if your local paper failed to publish an Easter-themed story, what did you think of that?
Should Passover or Ramadan stories be on the front page, too? If not, why not?
A majority of Colorado residents identify as Christian, so it doesn’t seem like a stretch to suggest that the state’s largest paper should reflect the faith’s biggest holiday. A tiny percentage of Colorado residents are Jewish and Muslim, plus Passover and Ramadan aren’t limited to a single day, so it’s more difficult to peg one specific day and say, “This religious holiday should be on the front page today.”
I didn’t suggest not covering religious holidays. I was asking about front page placement.