This study examines the validity of newspaper indexes, lead paragraphs, and headlines as representations of full-text media content. We analyze the effects of production decisions on content and categorization in the New York Times Index, based on interviews with its senior editor. We then compare the content of three proxies with that of full-text articles by conducting a parallel content analysis of New York Times stories covering the 1986 Libya crisis and their corresponding Index entries. The study suggests that proxy data can be used to roughly estimate the broad contours of Times coverage but do not reliably represent several key aspects of New York Times reporting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations