Newspaper Analysis

Aim I plan to investigate which newspaper out of the; Sun Daily Express Times offer the easiest read. I will measure readability by looking at the length of word whilst working on the basis that the longer the word, the harder it is to read. I will also compare the content and cost of each newspaper to see which appeals to the largest audience. Preliminary Tests: In order to determine whether or not further tests would be worth while I shall conduct a simple comparison of the front of the three papers. By taking the first 5 words from each story and plotting the mean on a simple bar graph, I should be able to see a significant difference in word length. Paper Word Length The Times The archbishops of Canterbury and 3 11 2 10 3 The Daily Express Millions of home owners were 8 2 4 6 4 The Sun They got the hump after 4 3 3 4 5 By working out the mean world length for each, we can determine which the harder read is. [image] Paper Mean Word Length The Times 5.8 The Daily Express 4.8 The Sun 3.8 It is immediately evident that the mean word length steadily reduces as you travel from top to bottom end newspapers. This means that further investigations are most definitely worth while, not only in this field, but also within each paper over the different sections. After conducting my preliminary investigations, I have deemed it worth while to further investigate the statistics of each newspaper and make comparisons as to which one offers the harder read. However, in order to be provided with the most accurate results, I must utilise a suitable sampling technique that ensures a selection of random words. In order to do this I will use the random number generator on my calculator to produce the numbers that can the correspond to the word. This can be done as follows:
Put the calculator into Fix0 mode by pressing mode three times,
selecting fix and selecting 0. This will ensure all numbers are to
0d.p.
Generate the random number by pressing ran# and then multiply it by
the number of words in the article. This ensures it is not too high so
that it does not correspond to a word in the article.
I have decided on this sampling technique as it is the most easily applied and modified to suit each different article. Hypothesis After conducting my preliminary investigations I believe that:
The Times will have a significantly higher mean word length than The
Sun.
The Daily Express will have a mean word length lying in the middle
of both the other papers.
The more serious parts of the paper such as the politics section
will be a harder read than the sports or celebrity news sections.
The Sun will have more space dedicated to advertising than The
Times.
Consequently I also believe that The Sun will be a cheaper paper as
it has a higher income through advertising.
The Sun will not only have more pictures than The Times, but it will
also have a higher number of colour pictures.
I also think that the article count for The Sun will contain more
general & sport than the more serious sections such as business and
finance.
Investigations Because of these predictions I shall conduct the following investigations: 1. The mean word length of a story running through all three of the newspapers. 2. The mean word length of separate stories running through each different section of The Daily Express. 3. Which of the papers being analysed is the cheapest to purchase, and produce. 4. The mean amount of space allocated for advertising in each paper. 5. The mean amount of photos, both colour and black & white, in each paper. 6. The mean amount of articles featured in each paper. Methods I will conduct the investigations with the following methods: 1. Using my calculator, I will select a random sample of 50 words from the same story in each newspaper. This is to ensure that each of the newspapers has had the same amount of information to work with. I will then analyse each of the papers by calculating the mean length and using a variety of graphs and tables to represent the data. 2. I will select a story from each of the Sports, Politics and General news sections in The Daily Express. I shall then, as stated above, compare each of the stories mean word lengths and see if they differ throughout the paper. 3. I shall simply display the different prices graphically, state how they differ, and calculate the price per printed page. 4. I shall work out the mean area (cmÂ²) of advertising in each paper. I can then, as above, analyse them and see if the range is vastly different. 5. I shall count the number of photos in each paper and work out the mean. I shall then further this investigation and split it into coloured and black & white pictures to see if this affects the results. 6. I will count the number of articles in each paper and compare the mean against the amount of pages in each one. Investigation 1 In this investigation I shall be trying to determine whether or not a top end newspaper, this being The Times, is a harder read than a bottom end, this being The Sun. I shall also include a middle newspaper, this being The Daily Express. I have gone through each of the three papers for Wednesday 30th June 2004. [image] Each of these contained the same story in reference to Mr. S. Marks, founder of fcuk, having to sell Â£40millions worth of shares in order to pay of divorce debts. Without including any headlines, numbers or slang words I have counted the words in each story.
The Sun ? 277 words
The Daily Express ? 710 words
The Times ? 677 words
[image] As they each contain different amounts of words I needed to use the following formulae to create random numbers that would enclose every word. I have chosen not to make the amount of words proportionate as there is such a large difference between the papers. [image]
The Sun ? Ran# x 277
The Daily Express ? Ran# x 710
The Times ? Ran# x 677
After creating these random numbers I counted the length of each of the corresponding 50 words and put them into the following tables. The Sun: Word Length Tally Total 1 2 I 1 3 iiiii 5 4 iiiii 5 5 iiiiiiiiiiii 12 6 iiiiiii 7 7 iiiiiiiiiiii 12 8 II 2 9 iii 3 10 I 1 11 II 2 The Daily Express: Word Length Tally Total 1 2 3 I 1 4 iiiiiiii 8 5 iiiii 5 6 iiiii 5 7 iiiiiiii 8 8 iiiii 5 9 iiiiii 6 10 iiii 4 11 iiii 4 12 II 2 13 II 2 Word Length Tally Total 1 2 3 4 iiiiiii 7 5 I 1 6 iiiii 5 7 iiiiiiii 8 8 iiiiiiiiiiii 12 9 iiiii 5 10 iiii 4 11 iiii 4 12 II 2 13 I 1 14 15 I 1 The Times: It is evident from the shape of the tallies that the concentration of mean word length ranges from 5 ? 7 in The Sun to 7 ? 8 in The Times. To gain a further understanding, my results can be converted into graphical format in order to show the relationships. [image] [image] [image] In order to further my investigation I am going to use standard deviation to find the range of results in each paper. This will provide further evidence as to which paper offers the most ?readability?. [image]In order to perform the standard deviation, I shall ?plug? my results into the following equation: âˆš âˆ?(x-mu)Â² [image][image] (n-1) Where x is the word length, mu is the mean word length, and n is the number of words. In order to work out the mean I multiply each word length by its frequency, totalled these new numbers and divided their total by 50. The mean values are as follows: The Sun- 5.96 The Daily Express- 7.48 The Times- 7.92 Word Length The Times Word Length x Freq. 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 4 7 28 5 1 5 6 5 30 7 8 56 8 12 96 9 5 45 10 4 40 11 4 44 12 2 24 13 1 13 14 0 0 15 1 15 Total 396 Average Word Length (mean) 7.92 Standard Deviation 26.9 Word Length The Daily Word Length Express x Freq. 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 1 3 4 8 32 5 5 25 6 5 30 7 8 56 8 5 40 9 6 54 10 4 40 11 4 44 12 2 24 13 2 26 14 0 0 15 0 0 Total 374 Average Word Length (mean) 7.48 Standard Deviation 20.1 Word Length The Sun Word Length x Freq. 1 0 0 2 1 2 3 5 15 4 5 20 5 12 60 6 7 42 7 12 84 8 2 16 9 3 27 10 1 10 11 2 22 12 0 0 13 0 0 14 0 0 15 0 0 Total 298 Average Word Length (mean) 5.96 Standard Deviation 24.9 Conclusion 1 After analysing my results through the utilisation of both graphical methods and standard deviation, I can come to the following conclusions:
The Sun is the easiest read with its mean word length being 5.96.
This is drastically lower than that of The Times which lies at 7.92.
The Daily Express is far closer to that of a top ? end paper with
its mean word length being 7.48. This is only .44 away from The Times
but a far larger 1.52 away from The Sun.
Even though The Times has the largest mean word length, it also has
the largest standard deviation. This means that although it is
designed to be a far more mature read, it has much more variation and
therefore appeals to the wider audience.
Even though The Sun professes to be a bottom ? end, every day
newspaper it has a reasonably high standard deviation, meaning that it
does contain some more complex words.
After coming to these conclusions I feel that I can say that my predictions were correct, and that The Times proved to be the harder paper to read, and The Sun, the easiest. Even though it proved to be a higher end newspaper, The Daily Express still lies in the middle of the three and therefore also agrees with my hypothesis. Evaluation 1 After completing my 1st investigation I found that I have obtained a good set of results. However, upon analysing my graphs I have noticed that they each peak at 7. This could be because the first name of the fcuk founder is Stephen, this being a 7 letter name I have also used other names such as Connection. In any future investigations it may be worth not including names as they are generally repeated throughout the article and can be very long, therefore drastically affecting my results. This may be why my results for the Sun seem quite high. I will take this into consideration in my further investigations. I also need to take into account that I have only bought one day?s worth of newspapers. This could have affected my results as there were no big news stories. If I had bought the papers on the last day of Wimbledon or the day after 9/11 my results may have been different as the writers had much more to write about and far more specialist terms. Investigation 2 In this investigation I shall, like in investigation 1, analyse the different sections of a mid ? range newspaper. I have selected three stories from The Daily Express:
A Royal Correspondence ? A story about the new Princess Diana
Memorial.
A Celebrity Story ? A story about Christina Aguilera in a Milan
fashion show.
A Sports Story ? A story about Tim Henman?s supporters on the Hill.
After evaluating my first investigation I have decided not only to not include numbers and slang words, but also names. This should prove for a far more reliable set of results. I shall use the same sampling technique as before and have already sampled my words and conducted the word count. The results are as follows:
Royal Correspondence ? 763
Celebrity Story ? 257
Sports Story ? 614
Therefore the random number sums will be as follows:
Royal Correspondence ? Ran# x 763
Celebrity Story ? Ran# x 257
Sports Story ? Ran# x 614
After selecting my words I counted each of them and inputted them into my results tables: Royal Correspondence: Word Length Tally Total 1 2 3 iii 3 4 iiiiiiiiiiii 12 5 iiiiiiiiii 10 6 iiiiii 6 7 iiiiiiii 8 8 iiii 4 9 iii 3 10 II 2 11 II 2 12 I 1 Celebrity Story: Word Length Tally Total 1 2 I 1 3 II 2 4 iiiiiiiii 9 5 iiiiiiiiiiii 12 6 iiiiiiiiii 10 7 iiiiii 6 8 iiii 4 9 iiiii 5 10 11 12 13 I 1 Sports Story: Word Length Tally Total 1 2 3 I 1 4 iiiiii 6 5 iiiiiiiiiiiiii 14 6 iiiiiii 7 7 iiiiiiii 8 8 II 2 9 iiiiiii 7 10 II 2 11 II 2 12 I 1 It is evident from my tallies alone that each story has a large amount of words containing 5 letters. This could be because a vast majority of connectives contain 5 letters, such as; these, their, where and so on. To better understand my results I will plot them in graphical format. [image] To further understand these results I shall use box and whisker plots to compare each of the sections. This should help in identifying whether or not the readability depends on the section of the paper the story is in. Royal Correspondence: [image] Celebrity Story: [image] Sport Story: [image] Conclusion 2 After analysing my results I can say that my hypothesis was wrong. Unlike what I believed prior to my investigation, the sport story is the harder read with the royal correspondence being nearly on par with the celebrity story. I believe this is because the sport and celebrity story had far more specialised terms. I can conclude that the readability of an article does not depend on the section of the paper it is in, but more so on the subject matter, as this is what affects the terminology and therefore word length. As shown in the stem and whisker plots, even though the celebrity story has the highest extreme, it has the lowest median which means that the majority of its words are lower than say that of the royal correspondence which has a slightly higher median and a much higher upper quartile. Evaluation 2 Even though my results did not agree with my hypothesis they seem to be correct and have provided me with a reasonable conclusion. I can therefore state that not including names has most definitely increased the reliability of my results. However, it may be beneficial in further investigations not to include connectives as these are all 4 - 5 letters long and it is most evident in my result tallies that this has affected my final results. I have decided to do a further investigation to see what percentage of these articles are in fact connective words. I counted the amount of connectives such as; and, there, too, a, the, she and so on. I then worked out what percentage of each article was made up of these words. Royal Correspondence: 763 words ? 264 connectives = 499 proper words Celebrity Story: 257 words ? 90 connectives = 167 proper words Sports Story: 614 words ? 247 connectives = 367 proper words These figures helped me work out what percentage of each article was made up of connectives: Royal Correspondence: 35% connectives Celebrity Story: 35% connectives Sports Story: 40% connectives These results totally contradict my investigations results and say that the sport story is the easiest read as it has the most connectives. However, it could be that my sampling missed out a lot of these. Therefore my results are still correct but it may be beneficial in future investigations not to include them. Investigation 3 In this investigation I am simply going to investigate which of the papers is the cheapest. I can then link this in later as the results could affect the amount of pages in the paper and therefore the amount of advertising and articles. This investigation does not require a sampling technique; I simply need to compare the prices which are as follows:
The Sun ? 30p
The Daily Express ? 40p
The Times ? 50p
These results can also be compared graphically to provide a better understanding. [image] From these comparisons I can easily state that The Sun is the cheapest paper and The Times is the most expensive. To calculate the cost per published page of each newspaper, I simply divided the price by the number of pages: The Times ? Cost 50p Pages 80 ? Cost per page: 0.00625p The Express ? Cost 40p Pages 80 ? Cost per page: 0.00562p The Sun ? Cost 30p Pages 56 ? Cost per page: 0.00536p This proves that the Sun is not only the cheapest paper to buy, but also the cheapest to produce. [image] N.B: I have had to multiply the figures by 1,000 in order to make a literate graph. Conclusion 3 This investigation has proven to concur with my hypothesis. The Sun is the cheapest and The Times the most expensive. This may help in later investigations when I compare which newspaper has the most articles, pictures and advertising. If my prediction is right then the Sun will have the highest income from advertising, and is the cheapest to produce. Evaluation 3 The investigation was conducted well. Even though it was simple, I believe the results will be of use in later comparisons and analysis. Investigation 4 In this investigation I will be comparing which paper allocates the most space for advertising. This may help in explaining the prices as the more advertising a paper contains, the more profit they are making. One thing to take into consideration is that the papers are each of different length. Because of this I will not be able to directly compare the results until they have been put into mean amounts of advertising per page. In order to collect my results I went through each paper and measured the adverts in cmÂ². The final results were as follows. Paper Advertising (cmÂ²) Advertising (mÂ²) The Sun The Daily Express The Times 13694 14937 13033 137 149 130 All the above results are to 0d.p. In order to compare the results I must divide each of the above by the number of pages in their corresponding papers. The amount of pages in each paper is as follows:
The Sun ? 56
The Daily Express ? 80
The Times ? 80