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From AJR,   April/May 2005  issue

The Skinny on the Minis   

One of the major selling points of the mini-daily is its ability to pack what you need to know into a short, entertaining package. So in the spirit of distilling information, here’s a speedy comparison of four of the tabs:

By Sharyn Vane
Sharyn Vane has written and edited at papers in Colorado, Florida and Texas.      

Reading Is Fun-damental

Metro New York: Gets a New York DJ to offer up a 10-song mix perfect for New Year's Eve, capped off with Maroon 5's "This Love"

Quick: Snappy recounting of editor's brush with Cowboys great Michael Irvin at a Dave and Buster's Pop-a-Shot game

TRIBp.m.: On Groundhog Day, eschews Punxsutawney Phil in favor of a midget who emerged from a bar to see if there would be six more weeks of drinking

RedEye: Mock Q&A with the subject of Edvard Munch's "Scream" after the painting was stolen from an Oslo museum ("So tell me. Why the long face?")

Our Copy Desk Is a Laff a Minute

Metro New York: "What will the amazing duo of ex-presidents conquer next?" (A headline for an analysis of the public-service alliance of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton)

Quick: "Will Voters Get Kinky?" (A tease to songster-writer Kinky Friedman's announcement that he'll run for Texas governor)

TRIBp.m.: "Was Abraham Lincoln tall, dark..and gay?" (Over a column about a new biography of the 16th president)

RedEye: "Party Pooper?" (The cover display type for a story about the Dave Matthews Band's alleged dumping of waste from their bus onto a boat full of tourists)

And We're More Than Just a Pretty Face

Metro New York: Devotes most of a front page to tsunami coverage

Quick: Devotes most of a front page to Iraqi elections

TRIBp.m.: Devotes most of a front page to the health risk cell phones pose for kids

RedEye: Devotes most of a front page to fallen American soldiers

So Really, You Have Time for Us

Metro New York: "Number" uses a statistic or dollar amount in display type as an eye-catching peg for a brief. ("62: length in feet of a cigar rolled in Puerto Rico. The stogie will be the world's largest if confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records.")

Quick: Cover rail of info-laden teasers means you could conceivably never open the paper and still come away with some news

TRIBp.m.: World briefs page collects international news of the weird along with political and cultural developments

RedEye: "Eye Pass Lane" boils down the entire tabloid to a few sentences for the "extremely time-pressed" reader

Because Here's the Stuff You Can't Find in a Broadsheet

Metro New York: Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie vamping it up in the Page One lead photo

Quick: "The Ten," a snarkily written set of teasers to stories throughout the edition

TRIBp.m.: "Today's Take," a Letterman-style Top Ten list inspired by the day's happenings in sports

RedEye: "Nine Lines," a sarcastic, comedic roll call of pop-culture news