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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  17 was the newspaper story itself, the ultimate sample size was 828 total newspaper stories (114 days X 7.27 stories per day). Clark and Blankenburg (1972) included fictional items that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in their analysis. However, in recent times, general interest magazines have become virtually non-existent, replaced by more specialized offerings. Therefore, rather than study fiction in a general interest magazine, we decided to examine newsmagazines for violent content. Two of the top-circulating newsmagazines in the United States, Newsweek and US News and World Report, were chosen for analysis. Two dates were randomly selected using a table of random numbers for each year for each title from 1979 to 1999. Again, coders were instructed to use the list of headlines provided by the Lexis Nexis database to read for stories that, based on the headline, may contain violence. Those stories were read in their entirety and were coded for acts of violence. Again, the unit of analysis was the date on which the newsmagazine was published. The sample consisted of 84 days of newsmagazine content. There was an average of 6.63 stories per day of newsmagazine content archived in Lexis Nexis. Therefore, with newsmagazine story as the unit of analysis, a total of 557 stories were examined (84 days X 6.63 stories). Finally, this study expands on the work of Clark and Blankenburg (1972) by also including television news in the analysis of violence in the media. The Lexis Nexis database archives broadcast news transcripts in their entirety and was therefore used to access television news content for this study. However, the Lexis Nexis archives only go back to 1990 for CBS and CNN, 1992 for ABC, 1997 for NBC, and 1998 for Fox. Therefore, TV news content was examined for CBS and CNN from 1990 to 1999, for

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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17
was the newspaper story itself, the ultimate sample size was 828 total newspaper stories
(114 days X 7.27 stories per day).
Clark and Blankenburg (1972) included fictional items that appeared in the
Saturday Evening Post in their analysis. However, in recent times, general interest
magazines have become virtually non-existent, replaced by more specialized offerings.
Therefore, rather than study fiction in a general interest magazine, we decided to examine
newsmagazines for violent content. Two of the top-circulating newsmagazines in the
United States, Newsweek and US News and World Report, were chosen for analysis.
Two dates were randomly selected using a table of random numbers for each year for
each title from 1979 to 1999. Again, coders were instructed to use the list of headlines
provided by the Lexis Nexis database to read for stories that, based on the headline, may
contain violence. Those stories were read in their entirety and were coded for acts of
violence. Again, the unit of analysis was the date on which the newsmagazine was
published. The sample consisted of 84 days of newsmagazine content. There was an
average of 6.63 stories per day of newsmagazine content archived in Lexis Nexis.
Therefore, with newsmagazine story as the unit of analysis, a total of 557 stories were
examined (84 days X 6.63 stories).
Finally, this study expands on the work of Clark and Blankenburg (1972) by also
including television news in the analysis of violence in the media. The Lexis Nexis
database archives broadcast news transcripts in their entirety and was therefore used to
access television news content for this study. However, the Lexis Nexis archives only go
back to 1990 for CBS and CNN, 1992 for ABC, 1997 for NBC, and 1998 for Fox.
Therefore, TV news content was examined for CBS and CNN from 1990 to 1999, for


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