The Age inappropriate story links . The Age  outdid itself this week with this morbid story pairing — a story about the death of a toddler who was mauled by a dog clearly provides the perfect opportunity to advertise another story about recruiting police dogs:

The West Australian 1. Is The West selling cheap? A Sandgroper has told Crikey that The West Australian is contacting lapsed subscribers and offering 20 weeks’ subscription for $1 a week including delivery. It should get the circulation figures up, even if it is only temporary.

The West Australian 2. And it appears that The West briefly flirted with an eyebrow-raising tagline under its masthead which has since been pulled. Crikey is uncertain how long the “giving a voice to the silent majority” catchcry lasted for, but if its chase to reverse declining circulation figures is true, then maybe the majority are not only silent, but also disenchanted.

Outspoken Sri Lankan editor assassinated by two gunmen . The outspoken editor of a Sri Lankan newspaper which had accused the government of corruption and been critical of the administration’s war against Tamil guerrillas was shot dead today as he drove to work near the capital, Colombo. Lasantha Wickramatunga, whose Sunday Leader newspaper accused Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government of corruption, was shot by two gunmen at point-blank range during the morning rush hour. — The Guardian

Palin: Media goes easy on Kennedy. Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) believes Caroline Kennedy is getting softer press treatment in her pursuit of the New York Senate seat than Palin did as the GOP vice presidential nominee because of Kennedy’s social class. “I’ve been interested to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled and if she will be handled with kid gloves or if she will be under such a microscope,” Palin told conservative filmmaker John Ziegler during an interview Monday for his upcoming documentary film, How Obama Got Elected. “It’s going to be interesting to see how that plays out and I think that as we watch that we will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy versus, say, the scrutiny of what her candidacy may be.” — Politico

Obama teams up with Spiderman. President-elect Barack Obama has graced the cover of tons of magazines and nearly every newspaper ever (saving the industry in the process). Now he’s teaming up with another superhero to save the world. In Spidey Meets the President — a new insert from Marvel Comics that will be included in the Amazing Spider-Man #583 — the prez and the web slinger team up on Inauguration Day to fight an unnamed villain. “When we heard that President-Elect Obama is a collector of Spider-Man comics, we knew that these two historic figures had to meet in our comics’ Marvel Universe,” Marvel’s editor-in-chief Joe Quesada said. — FishbowlNY

Grocers: You may be marketing to your customers’ backside. Are your customers pushers or pullers? We’re not talking about the question of push vs. pull marketing strategies but rather, Do they push the shopping cart or pull it through the checkout? That’s right. Relevation Research, a small boutique market research firm in Barrington, Ill., does a lot of shopper-insight research and in doing so noticed that the way people approach grocery checkout tends to vary greatly. Some people push the whole cart straight through and toss the goodies forward onto the counter, while others deliberately step up front and pull the wire basket through and unload onto the conveyer. — Advertising Age

Times deathwatch a tad premature. Why are some people so eager to write The New York Times‘s obituary? Michael Wolff is positively kvelling today over Michael Hirschorn’s declaration in The Atlantic Monthly that the Times could — almost certainly won’t, but just barely possibly could — go out of business in four months’ time. Michael, meet Felix Salmon. Here’s Felix’s less dire prognosis: “I think it’s pretty safe to say that the NYT is going to continue to exist in its present form for quite a long time yet.” — Portfolio

Survey: Reporters dropped ball covering meltdown. Signaling a look inward that echoes critiques of the media’s performance in the months before the Iraq War, some of the nation’s top financial journalists believe reporters dropped the ball as the nation’s economy tumbled toward crisis mode. Sixty-two of 100 journalists surveyed by Abrams Research, a firm started by former MSNBC chief Dan Abrams, criticized the media’s work, suggesting there was an over-exuberance about the economy and a failure to connect the dots as troubles began. — Associated Press