When Papers Duel, Readers Win

With news yesterday that the Chicago Sun-Times has been rescued by a group of local businessmen, keeping Chicago a two-newspaper town, we thought we’d see how the two competitors play the big news out of Chicago today; the arrest of two men in a terror plot to attack the Danish paper embroiled in the 2005 Mohammad cartoon controversy.

The Tribune does one single comprehensive story that takes a local angle on the event with the headline “Chicago Pals Accused in Terror Plot” and several striking photos of the goat and sheep farm/halal slaughterhouse owned by one of the accused men in the rural Illinois town of Kinsman, population 110.

The Sun-Times has a package of stories and takes a wider scope with its main piece, “Terrorism suspect had ticket to Denmark for Thursday.” The package also includes an interview with Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist targeted in the alleged assassination plot and PDFs of the criminal complaints against the two accused men.

Each story includes details the other doesn’t - and together they paint a more complete picture of the whole story. Competition is a beautiful thing.

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Alexandra Fenwick is an assistant editor at CJR.