What Is a Newspaper For? Really?


| 10/6/2009 3:22:31 PM


Tags: Media, newspapers, news, Clay Shirky,

Cutting the Newspaper

When everything but the news is stripped out of a newspaper, publications tend to look a lot thinner. Inspired by a blog post by Clay Shirky, I decided to perform a “news biopsy” of the today’s issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I wanted to separate the news from everything else in there.

I began by buying two copies of the newspaper, cutting them up, and separating the articles. One copy was for the odd-numbered pages, the other was for the evens. I then separated the articles into three categories: “news,” “advertisements,” and “other.” The “other” consisted of the opinion columns, sports, weather, comics, anything that was neither an ad nor reported news.

Here were the results:

News Ads and Other


News: 3.9 oz
Ads: 4.9 oz
Other: 7.3 oz

thomas
1/13/2011 6:15:11 AM

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tom hendricks
10/7/2009 11:48:53 AM

Well done. The media revolution that I am helping to lead, is one that puts readers ahead of advertisers. To do that we have to have newspapers that are free of all ads; and that get revenue from sales to readers not from safe puff pieces that don't upset advertisers - like the part that you cut away with your scissors..