Evaluating a State’s Daily Newspapers
Newpapers are brand new every day. Every story and every picture is a premiere performance— there are no reruns on the newspaper page. But good newspapers, like good restaurants, are usually consistent. The best way to judge a newspaper is to follow it over time, evaluating it on several different occasions from as many different perspectives as possible. Newspaper research in America today is based largely on quantitativeanalyses. Anything and everything can be counted, from the number of news pages and advertising pages to the number of sportswriters and political reporters. The 1973 New England daily newspaper survey, Evaluating the Press, headed and edited by Loren Ghiglione, editor and publisher of the South-bridge (Mass.) News, viewed comparability as a major problem—probably because it did not use quantitative content analyses. Instead, the study depended on 13 journalists serving as press critics to evaluate the daily newspapers of six states.