They are two masterpieces of journalism, of the headline art.
The two titles occupy half of the covers and extend to their full width. They both use a single word, because they don’t need more.
One of them, that of Chronicle, the work of Héctor Ricardo García, says: « He died. »
The other, that of News, is a title decided by a team led by Miguel Bonasso for a masterful descent by Rodolfo Walsh, and says: « Pain. »
Neither cover makes the subject explicit. Although one of the basic premises of journalism is not to take anything for granted by the reader, here it is not necessary to respect it.
Furthermore, the lack of the name known to all, that of Perón, reinforces the news of his death, that of his absence … and perhaps his transformation into an empty signifier that, from that moment on, can be filled with anything. With that lack, with that absence, we talk about the future too.
The titles necessarily suppose niches of readers and both News and Chronicle have – they suppose, they try – theirs.
There things are also clear:
The « Pain » of News is for a supposed recipient: the « Peronist people », who is also a subject in dispute. Noticias is the Montoneros newspaper, conceived as a massive outreach tool for a political project that, by that time, is already at a frank disadvantage and has been displaced from Peronism in government.
Chronicle’s « Died » seeks to reach the public he imagines his: the popular sectors that are faithful to them when it comes to information. In that cover there is also a certain idea of unity or conciliation from a death.
But even with that difference, there is a trait that links the two tapas:
In News there is a mourning band incorporated into the logo.
In Chronicle, the traditional place of the logo is occupied by a black ribbon (it doesn’t matter if it’s lower: the reader’s eye will look up, looking for it out of habit, and will find the dueling ribbon).
The News cover drop, written by Walsh, is already part of the history of journalism. Much work has been done on it. He says:
« General Perón, a central figure in Argentine politics in the last thirty years, died yesterday at 1:15 p.m. In the consciousness of millions of men and women, it will take time for the news to become tolerable. Beyond the din of the political struggle that engulfed him, Argentina mourns an exceptional leader «
That drop does not lack or spare a word, it is masterful. And he recognizes – almost with an impossible illusion of unity in pain – the bloody differences that are played within Peronism.
The download of Chronicle, written by Héctor Ricardo García, seems at first glance merely informative. He says:
« Body Mass present at 9 in the Cathedral, from 12:30 in Congress, the popular tribute. »
Almost it can be read as an agenda, but it is much more than that, especially if it is articulated with the photos that – unlike News, which does not have any – published on its cover.
In Chronicle, the descent speaks of the institutions (the Church, the Congress) and unites them with the sentiment of the people. There is a possible articulation of the institutional future –totally absent in News-, which is reinforced by the two photos on the cover: an almost hug between Isabel Perón and Balbín and the front of the Congress Palace, the space where all the political parties that participate in the fragile Argentine democracy are found – for better or for worse.
Going back to the beginning: Perón is not in any of the titles nor in the photos because it was not necessary.
Good journalism is also capable of naming with an absence.