Using substitutes for full-text news stories in content analysis: Which text is best?

Scott L. Althaus, Jill A. Edy, Patricia F. Phalen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)707-723
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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