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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  16 airing from 8-8:30, 8:30-9, either 9-10 or 9-9:30 and 9:30-10, and 10-11 p.m.). Therefore, the ultimate sample size was 729 synopses of primetime television programs appearing on those days (162 days X 4.5 synopses per day). The analysis of TV Guide synopses rather than actual programs confines our examination to the presence of violent themes within programs rather than a tallying of actual violent acts per program. For newspapers, the Lexis Nexis database was used to examine the content of all of the news items that appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times on two dates that were selected using a table of random numbers. Each of the four selected newspapers (chosen to represent geographic diversity) was studied for each year that they were archived in the database between 1979 and 1999. The New York Times and the Washington Post were available for all of the dates between 1979 and 1999. The Los Angeles Times was only available between 1985 and 1999. Therefore, the analysis of these newspapers was confined to those years. Though only the New York Times was among those analyzed by Clark and Blankenburg (1972), the other newspapers were chosen in favor of Clark and Blankenburg’s additional newspapers selected due to the availability of their content on Lexis Nexis. For all newspapers sampled, Lexis Nexis lists the headlines that appeared for each hard news story in the issue. (Coders were instructed to disregard soft news stories, such as those that would appear in Lifestyle, Travel, Living, or Style sections.) Coders were instructed to read each headline listed that pertained to hard news and read each for the possible presence of violence. Thus, for newspaper content, acts of violence rather than violent themes were measured. The sample consisted of 114 days of newspaper content with an average of 7.27 hard news stories per day listed in the Lexis Nexis archive. Since the unit of analysis

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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airing from 8-8:30, 8:30-9, either 9-10 or 9-9:30 and 9:30-10, and 10-11 p.m.). Therefore,
the ultimate sample size was 729 synopses of primetime television programs appearing
on those days (162 days X 4.5 synopses per day). The analysis of TV Guide synopses
rather than actual programs confines our examination to the presence of violent themes
within programs rather than a tallying of actual violent acts per program.
For newspapers, the Lexis Nexis database was used to examine the content of all
of the news items that appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the
Los Angeles Times on two dates that were selected using a table of random numbers.
Each of the four selected newspapers (chosen to represent geographic diversity) was
studied for each year that they were archived in the database between 1979 and 1999. The
New York Times and the Washington Post were available for all of the dates between
1979 and 1999. The Los Angeles Times was only available between 1985 and 1999.
Therefore, the analysis of these newspapers was confined to those years. Though only the
New York Times was among those analyzed by Clark and Blankenburg (1972), the other
newspapers were chosen in favor of Clark and Blankenburg’s additional newspapers
selected due to the availability of their content on Lexis Nexis. For all newspapers
sampled, Lexis Nexis lists the headlines that appeared for each hard news story in the
issue. (Coders were instructed to disregard soft news stories, such as those that would
appear in Lifestyle, Travel, Living, or Style sections.) Coders were instructed to read
each headline listed that pertained to hard news and read each for the possible presence of
violence. Thus, for newspaper content, acts of violence rather than violent themes were
measured. The sample consisted of 114 days of newspaper content with an average of
7.27 hard news stories per day listed in the Lexis Nexis archive. Since the unit of analysis


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