Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Charting content changes

Although quite snarky, this analysis of changes at the Minneapolis Star Tribune is certainly interesting, and perhaps even a bit illuminating. Minnesota Monthly magazine compared five front pages from the same dates a decade apart:

Average number of teasers (e.g., “Are you sofa savvy? See page C12”) per day
Then: 5
Now: 9.2

Average amount of copy above the fold
Then: 9.2 paragraphs
Now: 5.8 paragraphs

Number of headlines phrased as a question (“Do you YouTube?”)
Then: 2
Now: 15

Total number of national stories:
Then: 17
Now: 6

Total number of shopping/consumer-related stories
Then: 1
Now: 10
(Mini Cooper, Apple TV, Spanx anyone?)

Total references to dogs or children
Then: 0
Now: 11

Total references to death or violence
Then: 5
Now: 10
(number related to the war in Iraq: 0)

Biggest story
Then: Mass suicide of 39 California cult members
Now: Dog attack in Minneapolis

Number of days a photo obscures the newspaper’s name
Then: 0
Now: 4 out of 5

Percentage of those photos that are of dogs, babies, celebrities, or models:

Number of photos featuring attractive young women
Then: 0
Now: 6

Number of photos of dangerous men
Then: 2
(O.J. Simpson, James Earl Ray)
Now: 2
(President Bush, Darth Vader)

Uses of the word “you” or “your” (referring to readers)
Then: 0
Now: 9

Uses of the phrase “sexy and confident at Mystic Lake”
Then: 0
Now: 1
(in reference to singer Taylor Hicks)

Global-warming index
Then: High
temperature: 55
Now: High
temperature: 75

Then: 50 cents
Now: 50 cents

No comments:

Post a Comment