Government shutdown over? You’d hardly know it if you read the Sun Sentinel

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Perhaps I am missing something.

Perhaps I am putting Broward’s Sun Sentinel on a pedestal.

Perhaps I am wrong to consider the Sun Sentinel a major newspaper. 

For the life of me, I do not understand the Sun Sentinel‘s vision for its front-page. It’s as if its editors and designers live in a journalism Bizarro world where up is down, black is white, and the major of the story of the day is downplayed.

For the fourth time in as many weeks, the Sun Sentinel‘s front-page is about everything EXCEPT the story which leads every other state newspaper’s front-page.

Thanks to Kevin Cate’s Above the Fold service, which captures an image of every major state newspaper’s front page, you can see that:

— The Tampa Bay Times leads with “SHUTDOWN ENDS” in big bold letters.

— The Tampa Tribune has the word “DEAL” written so big on its front-page one might think it’s an ad for a used car dealership.

— A story titled “U.S. back in business” takes up more than half of the front-page of the Florida Times-Union.

Yet, the Sun Sentinel relegates its story about the end of the government shutdown — you know, the political story of the year — to fifth place on its front-page. A story titled “City reins in holiday displays,” with a picture of a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can ornament in it, receives better treatment.

Again, the Sun Sentinel is a major newspaper. Or, at least it holds itself out to be. It touts its 2013 Pulitzer Prize win for Public Service right there on the same front-page I am critical of.

Yet, it’s front-page consistently appears more appropriate for a supermarket weekly than a major newspaper.

sun sentinel front page3

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.