Newspaper Content Analysis

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For the purpose of this study two newspapers were used during the analysis. The broadsheet newspaper, The Times dated 20th February 2002, and the tabloid newspaper The Mirror, dated 20th February, 2002.

The first stage of the analytical process was the selection of categories, relevant to the general content of both publications. In this initial stage a list of approximately 35 categories were drawn up. These initial categories were sourced by simply examining the content of both newspapers, and applying a category to each individual story. Obviously this produced more sections than required. Some choices would need to be grouped together, or omitted if their percentage of the total content was negligible. By placing similar groups together a final list of fifteen categories was achieved.

Six of the categories1 appeared (using approximate visual collation) to demand a similar percentage of content in both publications. International and European politics, science, international finance and the arts all featured quite heavily in the broadsheet, and therefore warranted inclusion.

Likewise with the remaining categories in the tabloid.

Whilst some of the sections were straight forward (e.g. sport and fashion), others were less specific. I attempted to group similar and linked subjects together, for example politics is intrinsically connected to governments, which in turn shares connections with war. To make the investigations results as accurate as possible, this section along with finance was broken down further in to European and International sections. I felt that it was important to make this distinction as news on war is mainly international. In contrast, simple politics would be mainly confined to the British Isles.

Science has definite links with technology, and both subjects have become increasingly more involved with environmental issues (genetically modified food, etc.). Fashion could have possibly been grouped with the arts, but i felt...