The deaths of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il and Václav Havel, the playwright and former Czechloslovakian president, were both announced on Sunday. But depending on where in the world you woke up this morning, coverage of their passing was split, with most newspapers in Europe producing covers featuring Havel, and most U.S. newspapers covering Kim.
Kim's death was reported on state television in North Korea on Monday--too late for most newspapers in Europe to produce A1 stories. In the United States, Kim's death was reported at about 10 p.m. ET Sunday, giving publishers just enough time to put the supreme leader's demise on the cover of their Monday print editions. Many did, though at least one prominent American newspaper--the Washington Post--did not give Kim top billing. (The Post put Havel's obituary above the fold on its front page, and Kim's death report below.)
Havel, not surprisingly, was featured on the covers of most Czech newspapers. Prague's Lidove Noviny ran a large black-and-white photo with his signature--and a heart--underneath.
On television, however, most of the coverage tilted to Kim.
On North Korean state television, a tearful broadcaster announced Kim had died Saturday from "overwork" while "dedicating his life to the people." In the United States, there were no tears among cable news hosts, who broke into regular programming to report Kim's death shortly after 10 p.m.
As TheWrap.com's Brent Lang noted, Jong-Il's death was an opportunity for CNN to showcase Christiane Amanpour, who announced her return to CNN International earlier this month. But Amanpour was also on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday morning to summarize the news out of North Korea.
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