“The Obama-Times” v. Google News

Last week, the Beachwood Reporter referred to one of our local papers as the Chicago Obama-Times for its all-Obama all the time coverage. (As case in point, on Monday, it posted mp3s of his two MLK Day speeches.) In the aftermath of the big pre-announcement, I decided to check the Beachwood’s assertion. According to Google News, the Sun Times has mentioned Obama 93 times so far this year. By comparison, President Bush has been mentioned 162 times and Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher 40 times.

Notably, the story counts from the Sun Times internal search engine differ from those supplied by Google. According to the Sun Times, it has run 40 stories mentioning Obama, 53 on “Bush” and 5 on “Urlacher.” Why the discrepancies– and whose count do you trust more, the Sun Times’ or Google‘s?

3 thoughts on ““The Obama-Times” v. Google News

  1. Where to begin …

    1) The numbers Google lists in “1-10 of …” aren’t real. They’re “estimates”. Page forward to see the real number, which is lower (26 now for “Urlacher”)

    2) Google apparently counts minor revisions and also blogs on the site.

    3) The Sun Times isn’t apparently isn’t doing a full-text search (just the first paragraph? First paragraph plus summary?) – compare the results for the word “Guantanamo”.

    So *neither* set is exactly what you want.

  2. thanks for that, seth. I recall that even Lexis Nexis can be problematic. For instance, back in the day, Lexis searches of the LA Times would count both its regular and Orange County editions.

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