Looks like the the folks at the Project for Excellence in Journalism are about to launch a very interesting and much needed monthly media content analysis. Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, this type of "industrial"-size quantitative analysis of news trends has been talked about for a long time, but no one has been able to pull it off. Consider this project to be the news content parallel to political polling. Here's what Peter Johnson in his Media Mix column at USA Today reports:
...this month when the Project for Excellence in Journalism kicks off an ambitious weekly study of what stories almost three dozen media sources are reporting, what news they view as important and how reporting differs among outlets. To be analyzed are nine daily newspapers, as diverse as The New York Times and the Austin American-Statesman; morning and evening newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS; prime-time talk shows on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC; headlines from CBS and ABC Radio; and various Internet bloggers. Each Tuesday, PEJ will issue a report on its website (journalism.org.) about the media agenda -- what was covered and what wasn't. It will include an index of the top stories each week and a narrative analyzing the twists and turns of the coverage. The report also will include a breakdown of the differences among the media sectors. The project, which is financed by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, comes as mainstream media outlets are merging and starting up Internet outlets and creating vast sources for news and information.