War in Ukraine: how newspapers handled their front pages

By Brad Needham

As Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine entered its first full day, we got to see how newspapers around the world displayed to their readers what was happening. Big, powerful photos (three stood out as the most commonly used) big, bold, powerful headlines. When events like this happen (though there hasn’t been an equivalent to this in a long time) we see a lot of similar ideas. We also see the power of newspapers.

Below is a selection of powerful newspaper front pages. I have chosen the ones that almost made me gasp. The power of print will never be lost on me, especially in times of crisis.

Newspapers in Canada

The photo used by National Post was seen on papers throughout the world and there are more that use it below. The Toronto Star and Globe and Mail used the same photo and the Globe and National Post used nearly the same headline, about Ukraine standing alone.

National Post, Feb. 25, 2022
Globe and Mail, Feb. 25, 2022
Toronto Star, Feb. 25, 2022

The faces of war

When war strikes, we see the casualties on front pages. The injured. The common person. Sometimes the dead. This woman was on papers all over the world, either this pic or a similar one, as seen on the National Post cover, and below. As the woman further down was also common on a lot of pages. This is what war looks like.

De Morgan, Feb. 25, 2022 (Brussels, Belgium)
ARA, Feb. 25, 2022 (Spain)
The Guardian, Feb. 25, 2022 (U.K.)
de Volkstrant, Feb. 25, 2022 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Dagens Nyheter, Feb. 25, 2022 (Stockholm, Sweded)
Mileno, Feb. 25, 2022 (Toluca, Mexico)
Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, Feb. 25, 2022 (Viby, Denmark)

Others from the U.S. and around the world

And other newspapers made different choices. Here are a few more compelling pages from around the world.

New York Times, Feb. 2, 2022
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Feb. 25, 2022
Politiken, Feb. 25, 2022 (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Spokesman Review, Feb. 25, 2022 (Spokane, Wash.)
Las Vegas Review-Journal, Feb. 25, 2022
Morgunbladid, Feb. 25, 2022 (Reykjavik, Iceland)
Metro, Feb. 25, 2022 (São Paulo, Brazil)
Kleine Zetung, Feb. 25, 2022 (Austria)
Der Tagesspiegel, Feb. 25, 2022 (Germany)

It was a big news day in Minneapolis as news also came out about the George Floyd case, another story that has caught the world’s attention over the past nearly two years. The editors had to balance a huge local story with the biggest international story.

Star Tribune, Feb. 25, 2022 (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Sadly I am sure there will be many more pages like this over the coming days and weeks. War is brutal. War is ugly. Hopefully newspapers around the world can help hold Russia to account. To show the world, to capture for history, the brutality of this unnecessary war.

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