The fall of Kabul: newspaper front pages today

By Brad Needham

On the heels of a major and deadly earthquake in Haiti, Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban two decades after it lost control after a U.S.-led invasion. That is a lot of big news over a couple of days. While there was very little in terms of big pages for Haiti, the same was not true for Kabul. There were several striking pages. It’s a significant story, and one that will be playing out for a long time to come. There will be dire consequences for many in the country, particularly girls and women. Newspapers were right to give it the main play today.

I find it fascinating to see the design choices, both in terms of layout and photo choices. So often there is one photo that stands out. In this case most of the pages used one of two photos. And in some cases the designs and headlines were almost identical. That is not a knock. That’s newspapering. This isn’t the time to for wild design choices or plays on words. These are serious news pages. And these newspapers, all of whom have a strong focus on the world, presented the dire situation to their readers in a way will have an impact. Hopefully the world acts.

Here is a selection of some of the amazing pages from around the world, with the pages mostly speaking for themselves.

The Guardian, Monday, Aug. 16

Globe and Mail, Monday, Aug. 16

The Globe, above, and Hartford Courant, below, are so very similar, but also so well done. They are both powerful pages, achieved with a good, big and clear headline, strong art, and nice but simple treatment of other elements.

Hartford Courant, Monday, Aug. 16

And again this photo. Wow. Used in many papers today. Both the above and deVolksrant below were just three of many who went with this powerful image.

deVolkstrant, Monday, Aug. 16
Jyllands-Posten, Monday, Aug. 16

And a helicopter photo, also used by a handful of papers, including the next three (different pictures or crops, but same idea). The comparison of Vietnam and Kabul is an interesting play in Arab news. A beautiful and powerful headline. It says so much in so few words.

Arab News, Monday, Aug. 16
Dagens Nyheter, Monday, Aug. 16
Die tageszeirung, Monday, Aug. 16

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