• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Foreword
 Introduction
 Table of Contents
 How and when the newspaper...
 Some audience characteristics
 Readership
 Readership by teen-agers
 Some communication behavior
 Eye movements
 Makeup
 News story and style and struc...
 Editorials and editorial polic...
 Editorial administration and...
 What the public thinks of...
 Research method and use














Title: News research for better newspapers
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Title: News research for better newspapers
Physical Description: v. : ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: American Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation
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Subject: Newspapers -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Newspaper reading -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
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Dates or Sequential Designation: Began with vol. 1 (1966).
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Foreword
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Introduction
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    How and when the newspaper is read
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Some audience characteristics
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Readership
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Readership by teen-agers
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Some communication behavior
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Eye movements
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
    Makeup
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
    News story and style and structure
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Editorials and editorial policy
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
    Editorial administration and personnel
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
    What the public thinks of its newspaper
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    Research method and use
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
Full Text




NEWS RESEARCH FOR
BETTER NEWSPAPERS







Compiled and edited by

DR. CHILTON R. BUSH










American Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation
750 Third Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10017









OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES
SOF THE ANPA FOUNDATION

President: David Lindsay, Jr., Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and
Journal
Vice-President: William F. Schmick, Jr., Baltimore (Md.) Sun
Secretary: Barnard L. Colby, New London (Conn.) Day
General Manager'Acting Treasurer: Stanford Smith, ANPA.
New York, N. Y.

Peyton Anderson, Macon (Ga.) Telegraph and News
St. Clair Balfour, Southam Newspapers, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Eugene C. Bishop, Peninsula Newpapers, Inc., Palo Alto, California
Richard H. Blacklidge, Kokomo (Ind.) Tribune
Crosby N. Boyd, Washington (D.C.) Star
Frank A. Daniels, Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer and Times
Mark Ferree, Scripps-Howard Newspapers, New York, N. Y.
M. J. Frey, Portland (Ore.) Oregonian
Jack R. Howard, Scripps-Howard Newspapers, New York, N. Y.
Irwin Maier, Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal and Sentinel
Eugene S. Pulliam, Indianapolis (Ind.) Star and News
Gene Robb, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Knickerbocker News
G. Gordon Strong, Brush-Moore Newspapers, Inc., Canton, Ohio
Joyce A. Swan, Minneapolis (Minn.) Star and Tribune
Robert L. Taylor, Philadelphia (Pa.) Bulletin
Walter W. White, Lincoln (Nebr.) Star
J. Howard Wood, Chicago (Ill.) Tribune

MEMBERS OF ANPA NEWS RESEARCH CENTER
STEERING COMMITTEE:
Representing:
American Newspaper Publishers Association
Eugene S. Pulliam, Indianapolis (Ind.) Star and News-Chairman
Associated Press Managing Editors Association
Arville Schaleben, Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal
United Press International
Francis T. Leary, New York, N. Y.
American Society of Newspaper Editors
Norman Isaacs, Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal and Times
National Newspaper Promotion Association
Newell Meyer, Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal
Bureau of Advertising of the ANPA
Dr. Leo Bogart, New York, N. Y.
Association for Education in Journalism
Dr. Wayne A. Danielson, University of North Carolina








FOREWORD


This book on news research is dedicated to daily news-
papers, to the men and women who produce and edit the
news and editorials, to college and university professors
interested in news research and in the improvement of daily
newspapers, and to those students of journalism who hope
to enter that profession, to grow with it, and who believe
in the importance of the printed word in communications.

The need for news research was recognized by the 1961
convention of the Associated Press Managing Editors Asso-
ciation. The American Newspaper Publishers Association
assumed the financial underwriting and guidance of the
news research project designed to improve the writing and
presentation of news, both in words and in pictures.

A News Research Center Steering Committee was ap-
pointed to guide the project. That committee is representa-
tive of the relevant newspaper interests, such as ANPA, the
Associated Press Managing Editors Association, United
Press International, American Society of Newspaper Edi-
tors, National Newspaper Promotion Association, The
Bureau of Advertising of the ANPA, and the Association
for Education in Journalism.

Heading the project is Dr. Chilton R. Bush who retired
several years ago as executive head of the Department of
Journalism at Stanford University. Since then, he has been
a consultant for several California newspapers. He has
several years of editorial experience including work on
newspapers in Memphis and New York City. Dr. Bush has
made many research studies for newspapers in various parts
of the country.

This book is being published and distributed by the
ANPA Foundation, a non-profit organization established to
look beyond current newspaper problems and plan for the
future of the daily newspaper. The Foundation serves broad
educational, charitable and scientific purposes in the public
interest.







Any new methods that take the guesswork out of the
editing process are worthwhile. Research is capable of pro-
viding a strong assist in this regard.

We hope the material in this book will be useful now.
We hope it will stimulate still further research to improve
daily newspapers in their irreplaceable function of supply-
ing the timely information in printed form needed by free
people to form judgments in our complex world.

STANFORD SMITH
General Manager

























American Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation

750 Third Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10017


April 1966







INTRODUCTION


On September 16, 1964, ANPA issued the first News
Research Bulletin. By the end of 1965 a total of 35 bulletins
had been issued-about one every other week. The bulletins
have been assembled in this book into twelve chapters. A
total of 75 studies are reported.


Almost one-half (45%/,) of the studies were done by
university researchers who tested their own hypotheses and,
for the most part, used university funds. University re-
searchers also developed some of the research instruments
which were later used by the newspapers themselves.


Commercial agencies, on behalf of individual news-
papers or newspaper associations, did about one-sixth of the
studies. The newspapers themselves did 31' /; and the
federal government or another agency did 8V .


The reader may not find the answer to every question
for which he needs an answer. The reason probably is that
the matter has not been researched. (Also, some problems
are not conducive to research). A reading of the book may
suggest to an editor or a publisher some questions that need
to be researched: to stimulate the asking of such questions
is one of the objectives of the bulletin series (See "Who's
Right? Who's Wrong?", p. 85).

Research itself does not create. Editors create. The
main purpose of news research is to test by scientific method
the ideas and hypotheses that editors develop.


Most of the data reported in the bulletins is in quantita-
tive form. In most instances, the reader will need to make
his own inferences from the several tables, for the compiler
of the series has bent over backward not to supply his own
interpretation except when the data clearly justified it. It is
not the purpose of the bulletins to tell an editor how to edit







his paper. One purpose, however, is to stimulate the editor
to ask more questions of himself so that further objective
research can seek the answers. That is the direction in which
improvement of newspapers can come about.

An evaluation of the reliability and validity of news-
paper research is presented in the introduction to Chapter
XII ("Research Method and Use").

We hope this book will be read not only by editors and
publishers, but also by others on the staff who may some
day become editors and publishers.

Chilton R. Bush








TABLE OF CONTENTS


PAGE
NO.
CHAP. 1. How and When the Newspaper is Used
How, When and Where the Newspaper is Read ........................ 10
Most People Read Their Paper Systematically ....................... 11
The "Scanner" is a Reader .......................................... ...... ................. 13
Morning, Evening Paper: Men Readers Read Differently 13
How and When Canadian Youth Reads the Newspaper .. 14
When Des Moines Newspapers are Read ...................................... 15
Time Spent Reading by Children .................................................. 16
Some Reading, Viewing and
Listening Behavior of Iowans ....................... ...................... 17
Time Spent Reading: Adults and Teen-agers ............................. 17
Copley "Newspaper in the Classroom" Program ....................... 19
How Different People Read a Newspaper ....................................... 20

CHAP. 2. Some Audience Characteristics
The Audience for Financial News ................................................ 21
The Audience for Financial News, 1965 .......................................... 24
Educational Change in a Generation ......................................... 25
Population and Age Projections 1973-1975 .................................... 26
How Much Do Readers Know? (I) ....................................................... 26
How Much Do Readers Know? (II) .................................................. 27
Membership and Recreational Characteristics of Iowans 28
Social Role of the 'Lovelorn' Columnist ........................................... 29
W ho is the N on-R leader? ............................................................................... 31
Reading Skill and Preferred Medium ................................... 33
Education and TV Viewing ........... ..................... ................. 34

CHAP. 3. Readership
Readership of Financial Section .......................................... ......... 36
Stock T ables R ead ............................................................................. ......... 36
Readership of Stock Tables ........................... 37
Readership of a News Digest .....-............. ................. ......... 37
Sunday Com ics Readership ........... ................................................................ 37
Readership of Sunday Men's Section: By Age ................. 37
Readership of Sunday Women's Section: By Age .................. 38
Readership of Certain Features ..................................................... 38
Readership in 138 Papers, 1951 ......................................................... 38
Intensity of Interest in Columns .......................................... 41
The Church Page: Do Readers Like It? ........................................ 42
Age as a Factor in Newspaper Reading ............................. 43
Age as a Factor of Reader Interest ......................................... ...... 45

CHAP. 4. Readership by Teen-agers
Teen-age and Adult Reading ...... .................................... ..................... 48
Kinds of News Interests: Adults and Teen-agers ...... 51
Teen-age Reading of the Montreal Star .................................... 51
Frequency of Children's Newspaper Reading .. .............. 52
Teen-age R leading ........................................... .............................. .. 54
Newspaper Reading by Eighth Graders ................................. 56
Readership of 'High School' Page ........... .......... ..... ................ 58
High School Page More Popular With Girls ........... ................ 58
Teen-age Reading Behavior ................. ............ ............................... 58








PAGE
NO.
CHAP. 5. Some Communication Behavior
T he D iff usion of N ew s ........................................................................ .............. 59
The Hunger for News .................................. 61
Suburban Weekly Preferred for Certain News Stories ... 62
Reader Interest in Suburban N ews ...................................................... 63
Communication Behavior of College Sophomores ......... 65
Some Audience Behavior in Delaware .................. 66
CHAP. 6. Eye Movements
Eye Movements in Reading and in Looking at Pictures ... 67
The Effect of the Legend in the Picture Caption ................... 70
Research on Colum n W idth .......................................... ......... ...... ....... 72
CHAP. 7. Makeup
Where and Why Does the Reader Stop Reading? .................. 76
Where Does the Reader Stop Reading a News Story?
(P a rt II) ....................................... ....................................................................... 78
Where Does a Reader Stop Reading an Editorial and
F feature? (P art III) ......................................... .......... .. .. ........ .... 80
Loss of Readers When Story is Jumped (Part I) .................. 82
L location in the P aper ....................... .................................................................. 84
Position of a Com ic Strip ................................................... .............. 84
W ho's Right? W ho's W rong? ........................ ............ ....................... 85
CHAP. 8. News Story Style and Structure
M measures of "R eadability" .............................................................................. 90
The Readability of the AP TA-Wire Report ................. 94
Attribution: The Importance of the Source ............. 95
Readers' Comprehension of Issues ................................ ...... 96
CHAP. 9. Editorials and Editorial Policy
Word-of-Mouth Network and Editorials .......................................... 99
Who Writes Letters to the Editor? ...................................... ....... 102
L letters to the E editor ................................. .............................. ........................ 103
Should a Newspaper Endorse a Candidate? ............................... 104
A Study in Taste ....................................... . ........ ....... ............. ....... 107
CHAP. 10. Editorial Administration and Personnel
Job Satisfaction in the Newsroom ................ ................................ 110
How Satisfied is the Veteran Urban Newsman? ....................... 113
A Schedule for Newshole Control .............................................. 115
High School Students Evaluate Reporting as a Career ... 120
CHAP. 11. What the Public Thinks of Its Newspapers
The Public's Attitude Toward its Newspaper .............................. 122
Fairness and A accuracy ..................................................................................... 125
Employees' Evaluation of Their Newspaper ....................... 126
Who Has Most Confidence in TV, Radio, Newspapers? ... 128
CHAP. 12. Research Method and Use
Understanding Research: (I) Sampling for Surveys ........... 131
How Much Can You Trust a Mail Survey? ............................ 134
Com ic R ating Contest ............................................... ......................136
M easuring "Sensationalism ........................................................................ 136
Asking the "Why" of Stop Orders .............. ................... 137
How Editors Use Research on the Minneapolis Dailies 138
Reactions of N ew Subscribers ............................................................... 150







Chapter 1
HOW AND WHEN THE NEWSPAPER IS READ
Does the newspaper format fit the needs and habits of
the reader, or does it force him to use the paper in a way
that is contrary to his needs and habits?
Without further research, we do not know the answer.
But we are aware that manufacturers of an appliance, such
as the automatic washer, design or redesign it only after
they have learned by research how housewives want it
designed-sometimes making time and motion studies.
The present format was developed in the days before
there was a web-perfecting press and in conformance with
the existing mechanical conditions. Perhaps the format
could stand some re-examination by researching of readers.
But we do have some recent studies that tell us how
the newspaper in its present format is read-whether it is
read systematically or in a haphazard way ("How and
When the Newspaper Is Read." p. 10, and "Most People
Read Their Newspaper Systematically," p. 11).
A third study tells us that men read morning and after-
noon papers somewhat differently ("Morning, Evening
Paper: Men Readers Read Differently," p. 13).
A fourth study shows that children and teenagers do
not read their paper as systematically as do adults ("How
and When Canadian Youth Reads the Newspaper," p. 14).
A fifth study tells us that people who say they "scan
through" the paper actually spend a good deal of time read-
ing it ("The 'Scanner' Is a Reader," p. 13).
Two studies reported in this chapter tell us when people
read the daily and/or Sunday paper and at how many
different times during the day ("When Des Moines News-
papers Are Read," p. 15, and "How and When the News-
paper Is Read," p. 10).
Other studies in this chapter report the amount of time
spent reading the daily and Sunday paper ("Some Reading,
Viewing and Listening Behavior of Iowans," p. 17, and
"Time Spent Reading: Adults and Teen-agers," p. 17). A
national study of adult readers of newspapers of all sizes
found that the time spent each day reading one newspaper
was 36 minutes. This would mean for a paper of 48 pages,
for example, that the reader devoted 45 seconds per page.
(The average number of pages in daily morning papers in
the fifty largest markets in 1961 was 43 pages).







HOW, WHEN AND WHERE THE NEWSPAPER IS READ
The manufacturer of a utility such as an automatic
washing machine tries to design it to accommodate to its
pattern of usage. He learns what this pattern is by inter-
viewing housewives. What do we know about the way read-
ers use their newspaper ?
Some information on how, when and where the news-
paper is read was obtained in A National Study of News-
paper Reading sponsored in 1961 by the Newsprint Informa-
tion Committee. The study showed that readers use their
newspaper in these ways:
50.4% Proceed through most of the paper one page after
another and read whatever is interesting;
14.2% Proceed through the paper page by page, but scan-
ning quickly;
20.0% Turn first to some specific item and then proceed
through the paper one page after another;
12.6% Turn first to some specific item and then proceed
page by page, but scanning quickly;
2.8% Turn to a specific item but do not look at or read
anything else.
A majority of readers (64.6%) begin on page 1 and
proceed systematically through the paper. A greater ma-
jority (70.4%) expose themselves, by reading headlines,
to everything in their paper. This data is confirmed by the
"reader traffic" data of numerous readership studies and
by the relative pulling power of small display ads in the later
pages.
These findings suggest several questions which might
be answered by further research. For example, the function
of indexes, the utility (or non-utility) of news digests, the
decision to "anchor" or "float" certain features, the utility
of departmentalization, the position of the editorial page
and perhaps the utility of "jumps."
Apparently the newspaper reader makes a different
original commitment of his time when he reads a news-
paper than when he reads a book, a news magazine or a
telephone directory. Some of the other findings of this study
supply a partial explanation of what the newspaper reader
does in terms of his living patterns. Ninety per cent of the
readers of a weekday newspaper, for example, read it at
home, 6 per cent read it at work, 3 per cent when visiting
and 2 per cent on their way to or from work. (This is a
national average and does not apply in such cities as New
York.)
The newspaper is read at 2.4 different times of the day
by the average reader.








A study by George Gallup supplies some information
about when people get their news from the different media,
as exhibited in the following table:
Read Listen to Watch
Newspaper Radio News TV News
Early morning ......................... 16% 25% 3%
Late morning .................... 12 8 1
M id-day ........................................... 1 18 1
Early afternoon ............................ 7 5 3
Late afternoon ................................ 21 9 3
Early evening ............................ 20 12 17
Late evening .......... ................... 8 5 17
Other, not specified ..................... 2 3 0
87%** 85%** 45%**
**Multiple answers were frequent
The table indicates that twice as many people get their
news from the newspaper and from the radio as from tele-
vision, although it should be noted that many of the re-
spondents got their news from two or more media. The
table also shows that most of the television news is obtained
in the evening after the reader has read a newspaper.
A few more people also get their news in the morning
from radio than from the newspaper. Since this is a national
average, this behavior could vary considerably in different
communities, depending upon the extent to which the com-
munity is served by morning newspapers.
(Newsprint Information Committee, A National Study
of Newspaper Reading, vol. 2. New York, 1961.)
(American Institute of Public Opinion, The Public Ap-
praises the Newspaper. Princeton, N.J., 1958.)

MOST PEOPLE READ THEIR PAPER
SYSTEMATICALLY
Newspapers are read systematically. Eighty-two
percent of the pages carrying national advertising
of 100 lines or more are opened and scanned by the
average reader.
Each reader searches through the newspaper
for information that is relevant, interesting and
meaningful. He focuses and concentrates on such
items, filtering out the insignificant and the mean-
ingless. (What is meaningless for one reader, of
course, may have meaning for the next.)
In late 1963, the Newsprint Information Committee
sponsored a survey which has been reported recently under
the title, "A Study of the Opportunity for Exposure to
National Newspaper Advertising."
The study was done by Audits & Surveys Company,
Inc. and was supervised by the Bureau of Advertising,
ANPA. The study was done on a national sample of 2,326
readers.
Readers were not questioned about seeing or reading
the front page or back pages or on page spreads that con-
11








sisted solely of classified advertising. Readers were ques-
tioned about six spreads which (whenever possible) con-
tained national advertising.
Some of the findings are relevant for the editor.
The study showed a high percentage of women who
open and scan pages that are mainly directed to men, and
a high percentage of men who open and scan pages that
are mainly directed to women. This reflects the reader's
habitual practice of going through the paper page by page
to make sure that he is not missing anything of interest.
Table 1 shows the percentage of men who open certain
parts of the newspaper and the percentage of such men
who read one or more items (editorial or advertising) in
that part.
Table 1
% of All Readers % of Those Who
Who Open the Open the Page Who
Average Page Read 1 or More Items
General News 82 64
Sports 85 60
Food, fashion 73 42
Business, finance 77 54
Radio, TV 83 68
Society 81 43
Amusements 84 62
All other 80 52
Table 2 reports the same types of behavior for women
as was shown in Table 1 for men.
Table 2
% of All Readers % of Those Who
Who Open the Open the Page Who
Average Page Read 1 or More Items
General News 88 63
Sports 69 38
Food, fashion 88 70
Business, finance 68 42
Radio, TV 80 65
Society 94 68
Amusements 90 52
All other 85 60
Eighty-one percent of women and 83% of men open
a page on which there is a national ad of 100 lines or larger.
There is less opening of the pages as the readers pro-
ceeds toward the back of the paper. For the average news-
paper, this is a contrast between items of general interest
and of specialized interest. This is shown in Table 3.
Table 3
Pages closest to front 90%
Next 88
Next 84
Next 83
Next 80
Pages closer to back 78
The average national ad page in metropolitan news-
papers (which tend to be larger) is opened by 81% of
readers; for non-metropolitan papers the figure is 86%.








Table 4 shows that there are only small differences by
size of paper, reflecting the presence of more sections of
specialized interest in larger papers.
Table 4
20 pages or less 90%
22-32 pages 88
34-48 pages 82
50 pages and over 78
(A study of the Opportunity for Exposure to National
Newspaper Advertising. Prepared for the Newsprint In-
formation Committee by Audits & Surveys Company, Inc.)

THE "SCANNER" IS A READER
Three-fourths of the adults who read a paper every
day say they read it thoroughly and one-fourth say they
"scan through" the paper. Of adults who say they read a
paper less often than every day, five-eighths say they read
the paper thoroughly and three-eighths say they scan
through it.
This data is from "A National Study, of Newspaper
Reading" sponsored in 1961 by the Newsprint Information
Committee.
What do people who say they scan through the paper
mean?
Since this study also asked adults how much time each
day they spent reading one newspaper, we can define
"scanning" by time spent.
For adults who read a paper every day (65.5% of the
national sample) the average (median) time spent by
thorough readers is 40.7 minutes and by scanners (34.5%
of the sample) is 34.5 minutes.
For adults who say they read a paper less often than
every day, the average time spent by thorough readers is
36.7 minutes and by scanners is 27.6 minutes.
It would seem that even scanners devote a considerable
amount of time to reading their newspaper.

MORNING, EVENING PAPER:
MEN READERS READ DIFFERENTLY
In one city and state, there is some difference in the
way men readers read morning and evening papers.
In a 1961 study by the Des Moines Register and Tri-
bune, readers were asked this question:
"Considering all of the time you spent with this paper,
how did you go about reading it? Did you go through the
paper page by page, or did you turn to some specific items
right away?"








The men readers answered as follows:
Morning
Went through page by page 49.0%
Turned to some specific
items right away 51.0
The women readers answered as follows:
Morning


Evening
65.1%
34.9

Evening


Went through page by page 65.4% 69.7%
Turned to some specific
items right away 34.5 30.3
There were no significant differences in the way that
people in Des Moines and outside of Des Moines read their
papers.
(Des Moines Register and Tribune, Iowa Media Audience
Study: Daily, 1963.)

HOW AND WHEN CANADIAN YOUTH
READS THE NEWSPAPER
Young people in Canada do not read their news-
paper in the same way that adults do.
A 1962 study sponsored by the Canadian Daily News-
paper Publishers Association asked a national probability
sample of adults and youths how and when they read their
newspaper and which parts they read.
The Way the Newspaper Is Read
All 15-19 Years 10-14 Years
Adults Male Female Male Female
Went through page by page 62% 30% 53% 26% 38%


Went through most of
newspaper one page after
another and read what-
ever was interesting
Just scanned through
newspaper quickly
Turned to some specific
items right away
Then, looked through
rest of paper one
page after another
and read whatever
was interesting
Then, just scanned
quickly through rest
of newspaper
Then, did not read or
look at anything else


Time
Adults
15-19 years
10-15 years
Number Tim
Adults
15-19 years
10-14 years


25 41 18 25


9 5


12 8 13


70 47 74 62



26 25 23 16

36 16 29 28


4 8 6


22 18


Spent
43.4 minutes
27.1 minutes
17.9. minutes
es Picked Up
2.4 times
2.4 times
1.9 times








Sections Read
The percentages refer to reading on the last day the
daily newspaper was read in the last six weekdays.
15-19 10-14
Adults Years Years
Com ics ........................................................... 48% 76% 89%
Front page ................................................. 97 89 71
TV, radio section ......................................... 53 61 57
Movie, entertainment page ..................... 45 68 54
Sports section ............................................. 54 53 40
Store ads ..................................................... 61 39 29
W omen's pages ........................................... 51 44 26
Births, marriages, deaths ....................... 53 34 21
Classified ads ............................................. 52 39 16
Editorial page ............................................. 70 38 11
Financial section ......................................... 32 9 2
When Newspaper Is Read
15-19 10-14
Adults Years Years
No special time ........................................... 27% 40% 41%
Before and during breakfast ................. 6 4 3
After breakfast, before midday meal ...... 7 5 1
During midday meal ................................. 3 2 2
Early afternoon ......................................... 5 3 4
Late afternoon before evening meal ........ 17 27 25
During evening meal ................................. 2 1 1
After evening meal ..................................... 51 30 29
(Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers Assn., Report of a
Study of the Daily Newspaper in Canada and Its Reading
Public, 1962, by Canadian Facts, Ltd.)

WHEN DES MOINES NEWSPAPERS ARE READ
Sixty percent of the readers of the Des Moines Reg-
ister (morning) pick up the paper and read it more than
once. The same figure for the Evening Tribune is 55% and
for the Sunday Register 78%, The average reader picks up
and reads the dailies twice and the Sunday paper three
times.
In a 1962 study, the Des Moines Register and Tribune
asked readers at what time of day they read yesterday's
newspaper, and how often they picked it up before finish-
ing their reading. The responses of the morning Register
readers to the first question are shown in Table 1.
The responses of the Evening Tribune readers to the
first question are shown in Table 2. Some of the differences
between readers of the evening paper in Des Moines and
outside Des Moines may be accounted for by the fact that
a predate edition, amounting to about 10% of the circula-
tion, is delivered to farm homes.
Readers of both daily newspapers were asked this
question: "Not counting brief interruptions, about how
many different times did you pick up this paper before
you finished with it ? Include every time you went back to
the paper to look at movie schedules, TV listings, etc."








On the average, readers of both dailies picked up the
paper and read it twice.
Readers of the Sunday Register were also asked as
to the time of day they read that paper. The responses are
shown in Table 3.
On the average, the reader of the Sunday paper picked
it up and read it three times.
TABLE 1


F
Before 6 a.m.
6- 7:59 a.m.
8- 8:59 a.m.
9- 9:59 a.m.
10-11:59 a.m.
12- 2:59 p.m.
3- 4:59 p.m.
5- 6:59 p.m.
7- 8:59 p.m.
9-midnight
After midnight
(The totals for
multiple responses)


F
Before 6 a.m.
6- 7:59 a.m.
8- 8:59 a.m.
9- 9:59 a.m.
10-11:59 a.m.
12- 2:59 p.m.
3- 4:59 p.m.
5- 6:59 p.m.
7- 8:59 p.m.
9-midnight
After midnight
(The totals for
multiple responses)


All
leader
1.6%
28.2
17.9
13.1
11.9
21.5
7.4
19.2
25.3
0.6
7.7
each


All
leader
1.6%
4.2
4.2
2.2
2.9
4.6
10.0
53.0
38.8
1.1
15.3
each


s Men Women
2.5% 0.6%
31.0 25.3
17.7 18.2
9.5 16.9
9.5 14.3
20.3 22.7
7.0 7.8
24.7 13.6
28.5 22.1
1.3
9.5 5.8
column are more than
TABLE 2


s Men
0.7%
3.9
4.9
2.8
3.2
5.6
13.0
54.0
36.1
1.1
12.6
column are
TABLE 3


V









m


All
Readers Men Women
Before 6 a.m. 1.0% 0.5% 1.5%
6- 8:59 a.m. 28.7 31.9 25.3
9-11:59 a.m. 40.8 43.4 38.1
12- 2:59 p.m. 27.9 30.8 24.7
3- 5:59 p.m. 34.7 37.0 32.3
6- 9:00 p.m. 37.6 39.1 36.0
After 9 p.m. 15.9 15.5 16.3
(The totals for each column are m
multiple answers)


Vomen
2.7%
4.5
3.4
1.5
2.7
3.4
6.8
51.9
41.7
1.1
18.2
ore than


City
1.3%
30.0
43.8
26.4
35.8
32.2
15.9
ore than


Outside
Des Des
Moines Moines
2.4% 1.6%
50.0 23.0
11.9 19.4
11.9 13.5
11.9 11.9
11.9 23.8
9.5 7.1
11.9 21.0
16.7 27.4
2.4 0.4
9.5 7.5
100% because of

Outside
Des Des
Moines Moines
3.3%
2.6 6.0%
2.6 6.0
1.5 2.7
6.0
0.4 8.7
8.5 11.3
57.0 49.3
34.8 42.7
2.2
17.8 12.7
100% because of


Town Rural
0.8% 0.5%
35.3 21.4
40.6 34.8
27.8 31.0
33.8 33.2
41.3 46.5
15.0 16.6
100% because of


TIME SPENT READING BY CHILDREN
In June, 1964, the Hagerstown (Md.) Morning Herald
and Daily Mail interviewed 431 boys and girls between the
ages of 10 and 15 to ascertain their interest in specific








news and features. The children were also asked how much
time they spent each day reading each of the two news-
papers.
The median number of minutes for boys and girls com-
bined were as follows:
Herald Mail
10 to 12 years 11.3 mins. 16.4 mins.
10 to 15 years 22.7 25 0
When this question has been asked of adults about a
specific newspaper the self-estimated average time has
nearly always been between 35 and 40 minutes.
For a 48-page paper (for example), time spent read-
ing by the children averages from 16 seconds to 31 seconds
per page. This compares with 44 to 50 seconds per page
for the average adult.

SOME READING, VIEWING AND
LISTENING BEHAVIOR OF IOWANS
In a personal interview study based on a probability
sample of 1,592 persons of 18 years and older in the state
of Iowa, the Des Moines Register and Tribune, late in
1962, learned these facts about their reading, viewing and
listening behavior:
Read a daily paper yesterday 85.8%
Read a magazine yesterday 30.6
Watched TV at some time yesterday 77.9
Listened to radio at some time yesterday 70.6
Read a Sunday paper last Sunday 79.3
The average estimated time spent on these activities
was as follows:
Reading Morning Register 40.0 minutes
Reading Evening Tribune 45.7 "
Reading Sunday Register 71.3 "
Reading magazines) 56.0 "
Watching TV 129.0
Listening to radio 107.0
(Des Moines Register and Tribune, Iowa Media Audience
Study: Daily, 1963)


TIME SPENT READING:
ADULTS AND TEEN-AGERS
Teen-age readers of the South Bend Daily
Tribune spend about three-fourths as much time
reading the paper as their elders do; and about 70%
as much time on the Sunday Tribune.
When the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune last February
questioned 949 adults in their homes and 943 high school
students in their classrooms, the respondents were asked to
estimate the time they spent reading the daily Tribune.









The median number of minutes was as follows:
Men 28.5
Women 28.3
Boys 22.0
Girls 21.7
When converted to index numbers, these scores show
that high school boys and girls spend about three-fourths
as much time reading the daily Tribune as adults do. The
index numbers, using the men's estimate as a base, are as
follows:
Men 100
Women 99
Boys 77
Girls 76
Using a 36-page paper as an example, the number of
minutes are approximately equivalent to the following num-
ber of seconds per page:
Men 47
Women 47
Boys 37
Girls 36
The average (median) number of minutes spent read-
ing the Sunday Tribune was as follows:
Index
Mins Number
Men 37.8 100
Women 38.8 103
Boys 26.8 71
Girls 25.7 68
The Tribune did similar studies in 1960 and 1963. The
percentage of readers who devoted 30 minutes or more to
reading the Daily and Sunday Tribune are as follows:
Daily Tribune
1960 1963 1963
Men 49.1% 51.5% 47.0%
Women 48.2 46.8 46.0
Boys 11.6 13.2 11.6
Girls 8.8 9.4 7.8
Sunday Tribune
Men 76.5 78.1 72.6
Women 79.7 79.0 75.2
Boys 39.4 46.8 40.1
Girls 42.2 35.6 34.2
There is an apparent disparity between the foregoing
figures and the figures that were reported by number of
minutes. The explanation is in the differing proportions
who spend 15 to 30 minutes. For the Daily Tribune, for ex-
ample, the figures for adults were 45 to 41 per cent and
for teen-agers 75 to 82 per cent. Very few teen-agers (7.4
to 11.4%) are in the 30-to-60-minute category.








COPLEY "NEWSPAPER IN THE
CLASSROOM" PROGRAM
A carefully planned "Newspaper in the Classroom"
program leads students to make greater use of newspapers
at home. This theory was tested by Copley Newspapers in
a before-and-after experiment.
The Copley program is built around an elaborate kit
which contains a 31-page, two-week teaching outline, a 14-
page publication on suggestions for the news period, maps,
a handbook on the use of the newspaper and other teach-
ing aids. The Copley Department of Education distributed
more than 5,000 kits to teachers during the 1963-64 school
year.
Films from Copley Productions, daily delivery of news-
papers to schools and talks by members of the Department
of Education staff are other elements of the program.
An opportunity to test the effectiveness of the pro-
gram came when a public school used the program for two
weeks in the first through the sixth grades. As a part of
the program, copies of a daily newspaper were delivered
each day on the morning of publication to each class-
room. The ratio was one newspaper to every two pupils.
Anthony J. Scantlen, head of the Research and Seminar
Division of the Department of Education, designed a before-
and-after experiment to measure attitudes toward news-
papers, media usage, and knowledge of current events and
facts about newspapers among the school's entire enroll-
ment of fourth, fifth and sixth-grade pupils.
The before phase of the experiment was administered
prior to the start of the program. The after phase was given
ten days later.
All grades demonstrated statistically significant in-
creases in the use of the newspaper at home, as shown in
the following tables, which represent responses to the ques-
tion, "Did you look at a newspaper in your home yesterday
or last night?"
Before After
4th Grade:
Yes 41 (49%) 51 (61%)
No 43 (51%) 33 (39%)
5th Grade:
Yes 52 (68%) 63 (82%)
No 25 (32%) 14 (18%)
6th Grade:
Yes 31 (42%) 56 (77%)
No 42 (58%) 17 (23%)
The same questions were asked about television view-
ing and radio listening, but no significant differences were
obtained.








Other findings of the before-and-after experiment
were these:
1. There was a significant gain in the knowledge of
current events in all three grades.
2. There was a significant gain in the knowledge of
facts about newspapers in two of the three grades.
3. Initial attitudes toward the newspaper were high.
Generally speaking, there was an increase in favorable at-
titudes, but the increases were not statistically significant.
(Anthony J. Scantlen, The Newspaper in the Classroom:
Report on an experiment. Copley Newspapers, 1964)

HOW DIFFERENT PEOPLE READ A NEWSPAPER
Because very few readers notice and read exactly the
same items in the same issue of the same newspaper, it can
be said that every reader reads a different paper.
Normally people who share a number of demographic
characteristics (such, as sex, age, income, education, etc.)
are treated as a category. The Bureau of Advertising,
ANPA, however, did an exploratory pilot study in April
1964 in which they sought the answer to this question:
Do readers of a newspaper who resemble each other in
many socio-economic characteristics differ from each other
in their reading of that paper ?
Nine women who lived in Hillside (Newark), New Jer-
sey, were interviewed. The respondents selected would, by
conventional sociological measures, be judged highly similar
to each other. They were all married, had children, lived in
the same neighborhood and in similar houses. Most had an-
nual incomes of $8,000 to $15,000, six of the nine were be-
tween 30 and 39 years old, and in general they could be said
to have a similar style of life. Every woman had also read
the Newark Evening News on the day before the interview.
The results of the interviews are available in a 26-page
report from the Bureau of Advertising, of the ANPA, 485
Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017. It is entitled "How
Different People Read the Same Newspaper: A Study of
Nine Readers." The report is recommended to editors.







Chapter 2


SOME AUDIENCE CHARACTERISTICS

This chapter presents ten reports about the size and
characteristics of newspaper audiences.
Two reports tell, by states, the percentage of adults
who own common stocks ("The Audience for Financial
News," p. 21, and "The Audience for Financial News,
1965," p. 24).
Two reports show there will be more younger people
in the future audience and that they will be better educated
than is the present audience ("Educational Change in a
Generation," p. 25, and "Population and Age Projections,
1973-75," p. 26).
Two reports indicate that newspapers overestimate the
amount of factual knowledge their readers have in certain
areas. One article is about legal terms (p. 26) and the second
is about the use of initials as abbreviations (p. 27).
One summary reports the percentage of readers (in
Iowa) who belong to certain organizations and who engage
in certain recreational activities (p. 28).
The kinds of people who write to the lovelorn columnist
are discussed in "Social Role of the 'Lovelorn' Columnist,"
p. 29.
A 1961-62 Wisconsin study shows that 13.5% of adults
were nonreaders of newspapers. The article describes the
characteristics of the nonreader ("Who Is the Nonreader?",
p. 31).
The study, "Reading Skill and Preferred Medium,"
(p. 33) explains why reading skill determines which news
medium people will use.
The more education one has the more likely he is to
read the newspaper and the less likely he is to view televi-
sion ("Education and TV Viewing," p. 34).



THE AUDIENCE FOR FINANCIAL NEWS
In 1962, 1 out of 6 adults (17,000,000) owned shares in
public corporations. The New York Stock Exchange predicts
there will be 35 million shareholders by 1980. This article
tells about some of the characteristics of this audience for
financial news.







The New York Stock Exchange has taken four censuses
of shareowners in American public corporations. The latest,
taken in 1962, shows an extraordinarily large increase over
the decade:
1952 6.5 million; 1 in every 16 adults
1956 8.6 million; 1 in every 12 adults
1959 12.5 million; 1 in every 8 adults
1962 17.0 million; 1 in every 6 adults
Of the 17 million shareholders in 1962, 2.2 million
(13%) owned shares in investment companies only. In
1959, only 10% of shareholders were of this kind.
The median age of the 17 million shareowners is 48
years. One-fifth of them are in the 21-34 age bracket. Their
average household income is $8,600. Almost half (48.2%)
of the shareowners never attended college. One of every six
high school graduates is a shareowner. About the same
number of men and women are shareowners.
Since 1959, the number of shareowners who live in
small cities (2,500 to 25,000) has almost doubled. Almost
26% of all shareowners live in small cities. By contrast, the
number of shareowners who live in cities of 500,000 popula-
tion or higher has increased only slightly since 1959. Share-
owners in such large cities constitute 22.1% of the share-
owner population.
The proportion of the population in each city size who
own shares, however, is about the same.
Only 13% of the shareowner population lives in rural
areas. Only 3.4% of the total rural population or about
6% of the adult population own shares.
Although 68.2% of the shares are owned by profes-
sional people, businessmen and officials, 23.3% of the shares
are owned by white collar (clerical and sales) people. House-
wives and non-employed adult females own 15.1% of the
shares.
"New" Shareholders
The characteristics of "new" shareholders (those who
bought shares for the first time between 1959 and 1962)
differ from those who already owned shares in 1959. For
one thing, they are much younger a median age of 39
years as compared with 48 years for all shareowners in
1962. Four out of five of the "new" shareowners are high
school graduates. The average household income of the
"new" shareowners is $8,400 as compared with $8,600 for
the overall shareowner population. "New" shareowners are
55 % female. One out of three is a housewife.
Where Shareowners Live
Since the audience for financial news is not the same
for all newspapers, we are reporting below the percentage
of the total population in each state who are shareowners.








The percentage of the adult population (about which we
have been talking) is much higher.
Total U.S. Population 9.3% Missouri 9.4%
Arkansas 3.2 Montana 8.7
Alabama 3.5 Nebraska 6.4
Alaska 2.2 Nevada 8.1
Arizona 7.3 New Hampshire 12.4
California 13.0
New Jersey 14.9
Colorado 9.0 New Mexico 4.8
Connecticut 18.1 New York 13.9
Delaware 16.8 North Carolina 5.2
Dist. of Columbia 16.5 North Dakota 5.7
Florida 10.5
Ohio 8.1
Georgia 4.3 Oklahoma 5.8
Hawaii 2.8 Oregon 8.6
Idaho 4.9 Pennsylvania 12.2
Illinois 11.5 Rhode Island 11.5
Indiana 8.0
South Carolina 3.0
Iowa 6.8 South Dakota 3.6
Kansas 7.2 Tennessee 3.8
Kentucky 4.1 Texas 5.4
Louisiana 4.6 Utah 5.6
Maine 9.7
Vermont 14.1
Maryland 11.8 Virginia 7.6
Massachusetts 13.2 Washington 7.1
Michigan 10.1 W. Virginia 5.5
Minnesota 7.5 Wisconsin 8.2
Mississippi 2.8 Wyoming 9.1

(To obtain an approximation of the percentage of adults in
a particular state who own shares, multiply by 1.75. Thus,
9.3% of the total population is about 16.3% of the adult
population.)
Readership of Financial News
The New York Stock Exchange announced recently
that it had switched its newspaper advertising from general
news pages to financial pages. One consideration was the
great increase in reading of business news. The Exchange's
studies show that 50% to 70% of men readers and 30% of
women readers are reading the financial sections.
The Exchange estimates there are three times as many
men readers of business sections as shareowners and twice
as many women. It believes that many of the non-share-
holder readers are considering the purchase of securities.
According to the Exchange, the number of newspapers
carrying complete Big Board tables has grown in the past
decade from 101 to 157.
Several newspapers have obtained scores on readership
of financial news and quotations by sex. One metropolitan
morning newspaper in the Middle West has some recent
breakdowns for readership of the "section:"







Men Women
High school education 33% 23%
College education 48 36
White collar workers 42
Blue collar workers 36
Housewives 31
City residents 35 28
Suburban residents 50 31
"Light" readers (22 mins. or less) 26 26
"Average" readers (23-52 mins.) 40 33
"Heavy" readers (53 min. or more) 56 28
Women with job outside home 15
Without job outside homes 34
(New York Stock Exchange, The 17 Million: 1962 Census of
Shareholders in America; Address of Ruddick C. Lawrence,
vice press New York Stock Exchange, Nov. 9, 1964)

THE AUDIENCE FOR FINANCIAL NEWS, 1965
News Research Bulletin No. 10 Dec. 9, 1964 (see page
21) presented for each state the percentage of the total
population owning shares in public corporations in 1962.
The data were from the fourth census of shareholders
taken by the New York Stock Exchange.
The Exchange recently published its 1965 census,
which shows 20.1 million shareholders, as compared with
17 million in 1962. In this three-year period, the number
of shareholders increased 18% as compared with the in-
crease in adult population of 5.43%.
One in every six adults is a shareowner the same
proportion as in 1962. The number of minors who own
shares increased 184%.
Some states showed a very large increase in the propor-
tion of the population owning stocks. In a few states, how-
ever, the proportion did not change and in a few states the
proportion declined.
Below is the percentage of the total population in each
state who are shareowners. To obtain the approximate per-
centage of the adult population who are shareowners, mul-
tiply by 1.6.
1965 1962 1965 1962
Alabama 5.0% 3.5% Illinois 124% 11.5%
Alaska 3.6 2.2 Indiana 7.9 8.0
Arizona 11.1 7.3 Iowa 7.3 6.8
Arkansas 4.8 3.2 Kansas 9.9 7.2
California 14.8 13.0 Kentucky 5.1 4.1
Colorado 12.0 9.0 Louisiana 4.3 4.6
Connecticut 18.1 18.1 Maine 12.4 9.7
Delaware 15.9 16.8 Maryland 12.2 11.8
Dist. of Colurhbia 14.9 16.5 Massachusetts 15.0 13.2
Florida 12.1 10.5 Michigan 11.6 10.1
Georgia 5.6 4.3 Minnesota 7.3 7.5
Hawaii 5.5 2.8 Mississippi 3.9 2.8
Idaho 6.2 4.9 Missouri 11.3 9.4
24 (continued on next page)









1965 1962 1965 1962
Montana 8.6% 8.7% Rhode Island 13.2% 11.5%
Nebraska 6.7 6.4 South Carolina 4.5 3.0
Nevada 10.1 8.1 South Dakota 5.6 5.6
New Hampshire 15.3 12.4 Tennessee 5.3 3.8
New Jersey 16.1 14.9 Texas 7.1 5.4
New Mexico 5.9 4.8 Utah 7.8 5.6
New York 13.3 13.9 Vermont 17.5 14.1
North Carolina 6.6 5.2 Virginia 9.5 7.6
North Dakota 4.6 5.7 Washington 8.7 7.1
Ohio 8.5 8.1 W. Virginia 5.6 5.5
Oklahoma 7.3 5.8 Wisconsin 8.7 8.2
Oregon 10.6 8.6 Wyoming 11.9 9.1
Pennsylvania 12.2 12.2 United States 10.3 9.4

Of the 20,120,000 shareowners in the United States,
3,200,000 own shares in investment companies only.
By city size, the greatest increase was in cities of 2,500
to 25,000 from 12.5% to 15.5% of the total population.
This means that about one in four adults in such cities is
a shareowner.

EDUCATIONAL CHANGE
IN A GENERATION
A measure of the higher education of the current news-
paper audience is reflected in a recent report of the Bu-
reau of the Census.
The report compares the educational attainment of
men who were 20 to 64 years old in 1962 with that of their
fathers.
More than one-half of the sons had finished high
school whereas fewer than one-fourth of their fathers had
had that much education.
The average (median) number of years of school
completed was 12.2 years for the sons as compared with
9.2 years for the fathers. These differences are shown in
the following table:
Years of school Sons Father
completed
Less than 5 4.9 18.8
5 to 7 8.8 20.1
8 to 11 31.0 37.5
H.S. grad. 29.4 13.8
College: 1-3 12.6 4.6
College: 4 or more 13.3 5.2
The report also gave the educational attainment of
men who were 25 to 34 years in 1962. Thus:
46.3% of the sons (25 to 34 years old) of fathers with
less than 8 years of education had completed high school
or had had one or more years in college.








69.4% of the sons of fathers with 8 to 11 years of
education had completed high school or had had one or more
years in college.
84.2% of the sons of fathers who had graduated from
high school had completed high school, and 44.1% had
had one or more years in college.
Sons (25 to 34 years old in 1962) of fathers who were
farmers had a lower educational attainment than did sons
of fathers with white collar or blue collar occupations. This
is shown in the following table:
o/o of Sons Who Had
Occupation of Completed 1 or more
Father Years of College
White collar 23.2
Blue collar 15.1
Farmer 11.3
(Bureau of the Census, "Educational Change in a Genera-
tion," Population Characteristics, Series P-20, No. 132., Sept.
22, 1964)

POPULATION AND AGE
PROJECTIONS 1973-1975
Two departments of the Federal government recently
issued population projections. The composition by age of
youth and young adults was projected by the Department
of Commerce as follows:
15 to 24 25 to 34
1965 30,600,000 22,374,000
1970 36,045,000 25,220,000
1975 39,575,000 31,139,000
The Department of Health, Education and Welfare pro.
jected autumn school enrolment as follows:
Public College
High School Undergraduates
1965 11,300,000 4,675,000
1970 13,300,000 6,182,000
1973 14,200,000 7,066,000

HOW MUCH DO READERS KNOW? (I)
Editors and news writers know they should not over-
estimate the usual reader's knowledge. But they can only
guess as to how much knowledge the average reader actually
has in a specific field. From time to time, these bulletins will
present such findings as they become available. This sum-
mary relates to legal terminology.
Brier and Rollins, of Montana State University, in
1963, directed a study of 105 Missoula, Montana adults,
randomly selected, as to their understanding of 40 legal
terms.








Respondents were presented with sentences, taken from
14 Montana newspapers, which contained the terms, and
were asked what each term meant. For most of the terms,
therefore, the respondent had some context.
Of the 4,200 individual answers, 44.2% were correct
and 55.8% were incorrect.
Men's answers were 48.8% correct; women's were
40.4%.
The number of persons who defined each of the terms
is as follows (since the sample was of 105 persons, the num-
ber of correct answers is almost equivalent to a percentage) :
Jury ........................................... 96 Extradition ............................... 50
Suspended jail sentence .......... 88 Arraigned ................................. 43
Defendant ................................. 86 Bound over ............................. 42
Arrested ................................... 80 Concurrent ............................... 40
Forfeited a bond ................... 80 Indicted ................................... 39
W aiving counsel ..................... 77 Civil action ............................. 35
Plaintiff ................................... 76 Statutes of limitation ........... 34
Rested its case ....................... 71 Extortion ................................. 33
Alleges ..................................... 67 Rem anded ............................... 26
Booked ..................................... 63 Continuance ............................. 24
Inquest ..................................... 63 Felony ....................................... 24
Larceny ...................................... 60 W rit of habeas corpus ......... 20
Coroner's jury ......................... 58 Admitted to probate ............. 19
Appealed ................................. 57 Administratrix ....................... 18
Second-degree murder ......... 56 Stay order ............................... 15
Battery ..................................... 53 An information ....................... 15
John Doe warrant ................. 53 Venire ....................................... 15
Burglary ................................. 53 Punitive damages ................. 14
To vacate an order ............. 53 Mandamus action ...................... 5
Accessories before the fact .... 50 Demurrer .................................... 2
(W. J. Brier and J. B. Rollins, Legal Terms in the Montana
Press: Do Readers Understand Them? Spring, 1963)

HOW MUCH DO READERS KNOW? (II)
How many readers know what the initials in headlines
mean initials such as UN and AFL-CIO?
Goldsmith, in 1958, tested ten sets of initials on two
groups business women and housewives in St. Louis,
and journalism students at the University of Iowa. The
total number of subjects was 40. The headlines were as
follows:
USSR Proclaims New Growing Number
H-Bomb Test of VIPs Pay
UCLA Upsets Court to Tito
Illinois as Grid James Hoffa Plans to Fight
Weekend Opens AFL-CIO Expulsion Move
YM-YMCA Provides Another NAACP
Campus Many Advantages Leader Arrested
C of C Home Dedicated Today Opening Tea
Says Soviet By AAUW
Hasn't Any Ships of Seven Nations in
ICBM Yet Huge NATO Navy Exercise








One-half of the subjects were presented with the head-
lines and the other half with only the initials, the rest of
the headline being masked.
For all of the subjects, the percentages who knew
exactly what the initials meant were as follows:
1. YM-YWCA .......... 95% 6. USSR ............. 40%
2. C of C ............................ 78% 7. NAACP ........................ 40%
3. UCLA ............. 73% 8. ICBM ............. 40%
4. VIP ................................. 68% 9. AFL-CIO ..................... 25%
5. NATO ............. 58% 10. AAUW ............ 15%
Average ......................... 53%
Some respondents did not know exactly what some of
the initials stood for, but did know what they "meant as a
symbol" (for example, "an ICBM is some kind of rocket or
missile"). When such scores were given one-half of the
weight for exact scores, the total identification percent-
ages were as follows:
1. YM-YW CA ..................... 98% 6. VIP ............................... 68%
2. UCLA ............. 85% 7. AFL-CIO .......... 61%
3. C of C ............................. 78% 8. ICBM ............................. 49%
4. NATO ............. 68% 9. NAACP ........... 44%
5. USSR ............. 68% 10. AAUW ............ 20%
Average .......................... 64%
Those respondents who were shown the initials in the
context of the headline scored slightly higher than did
those who were shown only the initials. The scores of the
journalism students, however, were considerably higher
than were those of the suburban St. Louis women.
The main conclusion of the investigator was that head-
line writers are overestimating the ability of readers to un-
derstand initials used in headlines.
(A.O. Goldsmith, "Comprehensibility of Initials in
Headlines," Journalism Quarterly, 35: 212-214. Spring,
1958.)


MEMBERSHIP AND RECREATIONAL
CHARACTERISTICS OF IOWANS
For almost every kind of recreational activity and mem-
bership in an organization the percentage of Des Moines
Sunday Register subscribers is larger than for the whole
Iowa population.
In a statewide study in Iowa in late 1962, the Des
Moines newspapers collected some data about the popula-
tion and subscribers to the Sunday Register. Although the
data are not representative of the nation, the findings sug-
gest something about the magnitude of the audience for
certain news and editorial features.
The following data are about membership of Sunday








Register subscribers in organizations. The question was:
"Do you or someone living here in this household belong
to any of the following ?"
Church or synagogue .......... 86.5%
Fraternal organ, or lodge ............. ...... 34.1%
Parent-Teachers Assn. .... ...... ........ 27.0%
Private or social club .......... ................. ...... 45.6%
Book-of-the-Month type of club ..................... 9.6%
G arden club .. ................................. .............. 2.4 %
Phonograph record club ..................................... 4.3%
In response to a question about "you yourself" (that is,
persons 18 years or older), respondents listed these recrea-
tional activities they had engaged in sometime in the past
twelve months.
Attended a m ovie ............ ... ..... ..... 59.0%
Attended a stage play ............... ......... ... 18.9%
Attended concert, symphony, ballet .. 15.7%
Played bridge ...... .................... .. .. 39.6%
Collected stam ps .................... . 6.5%
Collected coins .......... .. ........... .. ........ 10.7%
Read a book (except the Bible) ... .. 54.6%
G one bow ling ............ ... ........................ 28.3%
Played golf ...... ... .... .. .... 11.4%
P lay ed tenn is ......... ....................................... 4.4 %
Attended a baseball game ......... ....... ............ 40.2%
Attended a basketball game ............ .... 32.5%
Attended a football game .... ...... ............ 37.1%
Gone hunting ...... ................ .......... 22.8%
G on e fish ing ... .. ................................ ..... .. 42.4 %
Cam ped outdoors ...................... .. ........ 11.8%
G one sw im m ing ..... ........... ........................ 32.8%
G one on a picnic .................................................... 82.6%
(Des Moines Register and Tribune, Iowa Median Audience
Study, 1962)


SOCIAL ROLE OF THE 'LOVELORN' COLUMNIST
The lovelorn column is an institutional device to "funnel
off" anxieties of a large number of persons.
For many of the writers of letters to the columnist,
the columnist is the last link of communication with the
"community."
Gieber analyzed 548 original letters received by a
popular, syndicated lovelorn columnist, selecting every tenth
letter received over a period of several months.
The columnist had replied personally to 307 writers.
Of the other letters, some were phony, some were used in
the column and some were "fan" letters. Gieber made an in-
tensive analysis of 420 "problem" letters.
29







Two-thirds of the "problem" letters were from met-
ropolitan areas.
Teenagers wrote 37.7% of the letters and young adults
10.5%. Age could not be determined for many letters.
Persons who were single wrote 52.6% and married
persons 32.9%; persons who were separated, divorced or
widowed wrote 11.4%. Of the writers who were single,
39.8% were adults.
Most of the letters (81.9%) were written by females
"beset by problems created by males or by a cold world."
The male writers, the majority of whom were in their
late teens or early adulthood had problems that involved
the female an errant daughter, a frigid wife or a flighty
girl.
More than two-thirds of the writers, in so far as Gieber
could determine, were in the low socio-economic class; none
were in the high class. Gieber says it is persons in the
lowest class who have the greatest need for counseling
and are also unaware or likely to respect or avoid com-
munity counseling facilities.
Gieber classified the problem letters by "theme," as
follows:

C ourtship .................................................. ...................... 17.1%
Pre-marital (e.g., he doesn't love me) ............. 10.5
Intercultural (different religion, race) .......................... 2.9
P arent-child ......................................................................... 8.1
Psychological counsel (emotionally disturbed) ......... 22.9
S ex ............................................................... ..................... 5 .7
M arital problem s ..................... ......... ..................... 16.4
Sibling rivalry ...................................................................... 2.1
Community resources (seek tangible aid) ................ 7.6
Social relations (e.g., mother-in-law) ............................ 4.8
M miscellaneous ............................................... ...................... 1.9

In response to almost one-third of the "problem" let-
ters, the columnist had recommended that the writer seek
help from an "agency" a physician, pastor or a recog-
nized social-or legal agency.
On the basis of his analysis of both the letters and the
columnist's responses, Gieber developed some conclusions
about the social role of the columnist.
The term "lovelorn," he says, is a misnomer. The col-
umnist deals with a wide gamut of problems of human
behavior, and for many of the writers no agency really is
equipped to handle their cases.
The columnist serves a temporizing function. The
writers are turning to a "big sister" and the columnist
helps them to "hang on." The writers receive reassurance







that "some one" is interested.
Most of the writers are not hanging on the cliff of
psychic disintegration, but are confused souls whose in-
terpersonal communication is weak and whose perceptions
of reality are befogged
Within the framework of the temporizing function, the
columnist serves two specific roles.
1. As a referee for example between daughter and
mother or husband and wife.
2. As an auditor to catharsis. The columnist "listens"
and in a comforting note tells the writer she is interested.
Since the columnist is not present she is non-threatening.
She is helpful because she does listen. "As long as she does
not attempt to indulge in direct therapy, she can do little
major damage, or rather, do a great deal less harm than
those whose professional training is far from complete but
who nonetheless indulge recklessly in therapy in a face-to-
face situation."
Although newspapers publish lovelorn columns mainly
for their entertainment value, it may well be, says Gieber,
that the newspaper is providing an institutional device to
"funnel off" anxieties of a large number of persons.
For many of the writers, the newspaper becomes the
last link of communication with the "community"; the
columnist is the friendly, non-threatening authority found
in the otherwise impersonal pages of the press.
The naive writers are from the population of readers of
sensational news, gossip and lovelorn columns and confes-
sion magazines. The non-writer in this reader population
probably reads the lovelorn column with credulity, not so-
phisticated amusement.
(Walter Gieber, "The 'Lovelorn' Columnist and Her Social
Roles," Journalism Quarterly, 37:499-514, Autumn, 1960.)

WHO IS THE NON-READER?
A Wisconsin state-wide study showed that
13.5% of adults are non-readers of newspapers.
The non-reader is an adult who is low on the
scale in occupation, income and education; either
quite young or old; more likely a farmer than a
city dweller; and relatively disinterested in social
life.
Westley and Severin, in 1961-62, interviewed 1,057
adults in Wisconsin, on a probability sample of the state.
They found that 13.5% did not "generally" read a daily
newspaper.
On an "every day" basis, for the whole sample, they
found media use was as follows:







Newspaper 86%
Radio 81
Television 71
When respondents were asked which of the media they
regarded as "most important to you in finding out what is
going on," the answers were:
Newspaper 45%
Television 31
Radio 24
When asked a similar question about "finding out
about local community events," the responses were:
Newspaper 62%
Radio 32
Television 6
Of those who had a TV set, 48% spent an hour or more
daily with newspapers; of those who had no TV, 61% spent
an hour or more with newspapers. The comparable figures
for radio were 49% and 45% (not significant statistically).
The foregoing data apply to the whole sample. The
data which follow relate only to the non-reader.
Some of the socio-economic characteristics of the news-
paper non-reader were (%of non-readers):
Occupation:
Professional ........................................................................... 4.2%
Proprietors, m managers ....................................................... 7.0
Clerical and sales ............................................................. 9.0
Skilled labor ....................................................................... 14.1
Sem skilled labor ............................................................... 15.5
U nskilled labor ................................................................... 11.1
F arm ers ................................................................................ 26.3
Education:
16 years or m ore ............................................................. 5.8
13-15 years ........................................................................... 10.5
12 years .................................................................................. 10.8
9-11 years ................................................................................ 16.0
8 years ...................................................................................... 17.3
Less than 8 years ................................... ............................. 18.9
Socio-economic Index:
H igh .... ............................................ 6.0
M medium ......................................... ......... ....................... 10.2
L ow ...... ............................................................................... 18.6
Some of the demographic characteristics of the non-
reader were (% of non-readers):
Age:
20s .......................... 18.9%
30s .................................................... .................................... 11.9
40s ........................ ............................................................. 12.6
50s ........................................................................................... 7.7
60s ................................................... .................................... 11.0
70s and up .......................... ............ ............. ............. 24.0
Sex:
M en ......... .......................................................................... 13.9
Women ...................... 13.3
Place of residence:
R ural (farm ) ....................................... ............................. 25.0
U nder 2,500 ................................................................ ............ 13.0
2,501 to 10,000 ........... 14.0
10,001 to 25,000 .................................................... ................ 6.6
25,001 to 100,000 .............................. 9.5
A bove 100,000 ................................................... ..................... 9.5
32








Some of the non-readers' "sociability" characteristics
were (% of non-readers):
Member of formal associations:
3 or m ore groups ............................................................. 4.8%
2 groups ............................................................................... 11.9
1 group ................................................................................. 16.0
N one ....................................................................................... 23.4
Frequency of church attendance:
Once a week or m ore ....................................................... 10.3
M ore than once a year ................................................. 14.3
Once a year or less ......................................................... 29.2
Frequency of visits with neighbors:
Once a w eek or m ore ......................................................... 10.9
M ore than once a year ........................................................ 11.3
Less often or never ........................................................... 25.8
Frequency of visits with others than neighbors or
relatives:
Once a year or m ore ....................................................... 15.6
M ore than once a year ..................................................... 11.3
Less often or never ......................................................... 25.8
Political participation of non-readers, as measured by
whether or not they voted for president in 1960, was (% of
non-readers) :
Voted 12.4%
Did not vote 18.7
Non-readers were also asked questions about their use
of TV and radio for gathering news. The findings, (which
are not significant statistically) were as follows (% of non-
readers) :
Viewed TV news daily or oftener 12.8%
Less than daily 13.4
Listened to news daily or oftener 13.0
Less than daily 12.7
Westley and Severin summarized their findings about
the non-reader as follows:
"Being or not being a regular newspaper reader, at
least in Wisconsin, appears to be related to a number of
variables, chiefly social class, urbanism and extent of so-
cial contact with others. The single generalization that
seems to lurk in these data might go something like this:
the newspaper reaches nearly everyone except those who
tend to be relatively isolated, both by distance from neigh-
bors and by a relative lack of social contact with others, in
both formal and informal settings."
(B. H. Westley and W. J. Severin, "A Profile of the Daily
Newspaper Non-Reader," Journalism Quarterly, 41: 45-51,
Winter, 1964)


READING SKILL AND PREFERRED MEDIUM
In the late 1930's, Dr. Paul F. Lazarsfeld studied radio
listening to news. He found that the higher the cultural
level the greater was the preference for the newspaper as
a source of information.







He concluded that although interest in current
events was also highly related to medium preference the
chief explanation was that people on the higher cultural
levels are, on the average, more skillful readers. Reading
is a more efficient way of obtaining information for the
skilled reader than is listening.
Conversely, as one goes down the cultural scale, radio
communication becomes more efficient and, therefore, more
desirable. The less skilled readers feel that "radio is faster
than reading" and that they "get more in the same amount
of time from radio than from books." This attitude is
illustrated by the following remarks of respondents on the
lower cultural levels who were questioned:
"It takes more energy to read than to listen, so I
listen to adventure stories and don't read them."
"I would like to read, but then I think of all the neces-
sary effort, and then I don't do it."
What this probably means is that the unskilled reader
has to concentrate so much on the process of reading that
he cannot devote most of his effort to extracting the mean-
ing of what he reads.
One obvious and partial solution to this problem for
newspapers is to write in the way that is calculated to
facilitate immediate comprehension. Herbert Spencer, writ-
ing exactly 100 years ago, expressed the problem very well:
A reader or listener has at each moment but a limited amount
of mental power available. To recognize and interpret the symbols
presented to him, requires part of this power; to arrange and com-
bine the images suggested requires a further part; and only that
part which remains can be used for realizing the thought conveyed.
Hence the more time and attention it takes to receive and under-
stand each sentence, the .less time and attention can be given to the
contained idea; and the less vividly will that idea be conceived . .
Carrying out the metaphor that language is the vehicle of thought,
there seems reason to think that in all cases the friction and inertia
of the vehicle deducts from its efficiency; and that in composition
the chief, if not the sole thing to be done, is to reduce this friction
and inertia to the smallest amount.
The size of the national audience for broadcast news
(radio and tv) in 1958 was surveyed by Dr. George Gallup.
See page 11.
The audience for radio news today includes persons on
all cultural levels. Nevertheless, Lazarsfeld's findings sug-
gest that newspapers have an important stake in the de-
velopment of the reading skills of the next generation.
(P. F. Lazarsfeld, Radio and the Printed Page, 1940.)


EDUCATION AND TV VIEWING
In the Miami Herald's 1965 "Miami Market and Audi-
ence 'Study," done by personal interview by Dan E. Clark
II & Associates, respondents were asked about their view-
34








ing of Channels 4, 7 and 10 "last night between 7 and 10
P.M." The results were reported by education as follows:
Read
Total All Herald
Channels Yesterday
Less than H.S. education 88.4% 52.1%
Only a H.S. education 80.6 78.9
Some college education 72.9 80.2
College graduate 76.0 94.4
Because some respondents watched more than one
channel, the sum of those who watched and of those who
did not watch TV (46.4%) is more than 100%. The high-
est reported viewing of any channel was 35.2%. The data
are presented in this way so as to show only the relation-
ship of education to TV viewing and newspaper reading.
The percentage of households having a TV set is 95.-
6%. This compares with 82.1% which have a telephone.
Only 75% of the households with income of less than $5,-
000 have a telephone, but 94.3% of such households have
a TV set.
Respondents were asked how long they watched TV
yesterday and how long they watched "between 7 and 10
P.M. last night." The results:
Yesterday 7-10 P.M.
Did not watch 22.1% 46.4%
Not more than 1 hour 16.8 7.7
1-2 hours 23.4 13.2
2-3 hours 14.8 32.7
More than 3 hours 22.9 0
Respondents were also asked about their readership
of five monthly and biweekly magazines (Good Housekeep-
ing, Ladies Home Journal, McCalls, Reader's Digest.and
Look) and of five weekly magazines (Life, Newsweek,
Saturday Evening Post, Time and TV Guide). The results:
Weekly Monthly Herald
Less than H.S. education 34.3% 38.6% 52.1%
Only a H.S. education 54.1 65.0 78.9
Some college 70.0 86.3 80.2
College graduate 66.2 91.7 94.4








Chapter 3


READERSHIP

The stock table is one kind of directory. It is referred
to, not read as is a news story. The New York Stock Ex-
change table, for example, is read by people who own or
who are considering buying a specific stock, and they may
not read about any other stocks. They may or may not refer
to the table every day. For the latter reason, the readership
score for a stock table is not exactly comparable to the
score for a news story. For, even when the shareowner does
not read the table daily, he expects that the table will be
available to him every day. ("The Audience for Financial
News," p. 21, "Readership of Stock Tables," p. 37) and
"Readership of Financial Section," p. 36). The average age
of the adult shareowner is 491/2 years.
Some editors have never read the 138-page summary
of "The Continuing Study of Newspaper Reading," which
was published in 1951. A summary of those studies is pre-
sented in this chapter because it is the most complete report
about newspaper readership ever published (p. 38).
Several reports in this chapter are of readership data
for a specific newspaper. The scores, of course, could be
somewhat different in other newspapers.


READERSHIP OF FINANCIAL SECTION
In the Miami Herald's "Miami Market and Audience
Study," done by personal interview by Dan E. Clark II &
Associates, readership by adults in the ABC City Zone of
"yesterday's" financial section was as follows: Men 54.4%;
Women 28.1%.
Another "directory" type of content is the classified
section. This compares with the financial section as fol-
lows: Men 42.9% ; Women 37.3%.
The sports section readership was: Men 73.8% ; Wom-
en 35.0%.

STOCK TABLES READ
The Portland (Ore.) Journal asked more than 400 of
of its home-delivered subscribers in 1963 about their use
of the stock market tables.
Of those readers who referred to the tables, the aver-
age number of stocks checked "yesterday" was 5. These








readers read the reports on an average of 4.3 days during
a five-day week.

READERSHIP OF STOCK TABLES
Two hundred businessmen with upper and middle in-
comes were interviewed in their homes on behalf of the St.
Louis Post-Dispatch in 1964. Seventy-eight per cent reported
that they "usually look at" the New York and American
Stock Exchange tables.

READERSHIP OF A NEWS DIGEST
A metropolitan afternoon newspaper in the Middle
West publishes on page 4 of the first section a digest of the
news carried on inside pages. A readership study done last
spring shows these percentages:
Read Read All or
Seen Any Nearly All
Men 26% 26% 8%
Women 35 31 12


SUNDAY COMICS READERSHIP
In a Sunday readership survey in the city of Milwaukee
in July 1963, the Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal found these
differences by age of Sunday comics reading:
Age Men Women
18 yrs and under 93% 100%
19-34 89 68
35-49 / 70 71
50-64 64 43
65 and over 53 35
All readers 74 65


READERSHIP OF SUNDAY
MEN'S SECTION: BY AGE
The Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal publishes a Men's and
Recreational section on Sunday. It relates to these subjects:
Men's wearing apparel, outdoor page, finance and business,
travel, beauty news, and hobby columns (e.g., stamps). In
a Sunday readership survey in the city of Milwaukee in
July 1963, these differences as to age and sex were found:
Age Men Women
18 yrs and under 59% 10%
19-34 82 29
35-49 95 67
50-64 83 53
65 and over 86 59
All readers 85 47








READERSHIP OF SUNDAY
WOMEN'S SECTION: BY AGE
In its survey of Sunday readership in the city of Mil-
waukee in July 1963, the Milwaukee (Wis.) Journal found
these differences by age and sex for the women's section:
Age Men Women
18 yrs and under 0% 68%
19-34 14 81
35-49 37 94
50-64 45 90
65 and over 33 94
All readers 28 86


READERSHIP OF CERTAIN FEATURES
Since September 1962, when the Philadelphia Inquirer
developed its Exposure/Ratings measurement of advertis-
ing readership, it has also measured the readership of 128
editorial items.
During this period, measurements were made of the
readership of serial installments of four books. The "saw
and read" scores were as follows:
Men Women
Gen. MacArthur's Memoirs, (eleventh in a series,
page 2) 37% 24%
Sixth in a series excerpted from "A Nation of Im-
migrants" by John F. Kennedy (page 27) 23 30
"The Story of Michelangelo's Pieta" (second in a
series, page 1) 49 44
Third in a series from "The Mission," (about
Lyndon B. Johnson in the Pacific war, page 22) 26 13
Measurements were also made of certain recently-de-
veloped features. The "saw and read" scores for these were
as follows:
Men Women
Cassandra (London columnist: "Story of the Rise
and Fall of the British Empire," page 27) 43% 29%
Helen Gurley Brown (how to graciously handle an
extra woman on a date, page 9) 4 51
Harris Survey (effect of Bobby Baker scandal on
Johnson's popularity, April 20, 1964, page 44) 40 20
What Do You Want to Know? (questions from
readers, page 17) 31 36
Teeners View Their World (local teens air their
views on subjects including civil rights, war,
automobiles, and parties, page 1) 33 47
Three SpectaColor pictures were run on page 16 (a
news page). The average "saw and read" scores were:
men, 38% ; women, 72%.


READERSHIP IN 138 PAPERS, 1951
Some of the data in the "138-Study Summary
of the Continuing Study of Newspaper Reading"
are presented.







In 1951 was published the "138-Study Summary of the
Continuing Study of Newspaper Reading," which was
sponsored by the Advertising Research Foundation.
In the fourteen years which have elapsed since pub-
lication, new people have entered newspaper work and
some who were then newsmen have become editorial exec-
utives. A good many of these have no familiarity with the
publication and their own newspapers have not commis-
sioned a readership study.
Although the data in the summary are not current,
some of the high, low and average scores still have a cer-
tain value as benchmarks.
Studies were done between July 27, 1939 and April 21,
1950, thus covering prewar, war and postwar periods.
Banner Head and Lead Stories
Of the 127 stories with a banner head, the average
(median) score was Men 58%, Women 37%.
Of the 138 lead stories, about two-thirds (93) had
scores of 50% or higher for men and more than one-fourth
(38) had scores of 50% or higher for women. Forty-eight
of the lead stories were published during the war.
The story with the highest score for men (94%) was
in the Indianapolis News, May 7, 1945, reporting the end
of the war ("Hostilities in Europe End; Huns Sign
Terms"). The score on this story for women was 87%.
A study of the Nassau Daily Review-Star (afternoon)
was made on April 12, 1945, the day that President Roose-
velt died. But the news had come too late to be reported in
that issue. A study of the next day's issue (April 13) of
the same paper was made. The lead story was about the
return of the President's body to the capitol and the pro-
gram for memorial services. The scores were: Men 66%,
Women 75%.
Page 11 of that issue was a full-page layout of pictures
and stories about President Truman and Mrs. Truman. The
scores for the main story, about the new President, were:
Men 50%, Women 53%.
The story with the highest score for women (91%)
was a local story in the Lima (Ohio) News, April 21, 1950,
"Judge Smith Dies Suddenly in Home."
Page-by-page Readership
The average page-by page (anything on the page)
readership of pages carrying general news and advertising
was as follows (late pages were omittted from the computa-
tion to neutralize the factor of special interests):
Page 2 3 10 15 20 25 30 32
Men 77 69 68 59 63 52 63 56
Women 82 82 74 70 74 66 62 66
Left- vs. Right-hand Pages
The summary showed that position on the left-hand or








right-hand pages made no significant difference in reader-
ship. On 2,075 pages carrying general news and advertising,
the average scores were as follows:
Men Women
Left Right Left Right
66% 61% 74% 72%
Pictures
Scores for 3,188 news pictures were obtained. The
average scores by column width were as follows:
Men Women
1 col. 35% 41%
2 cols. 49 58
3 cols. 60 65
4 or more cols. 63 68
The highest scoring news pictures (not on the picture
page) on each newspaper studied was Men 88%, Women
91%.
The highest score for a sports picture was Men 62%,
Women 24%.
The highest score for a society page picture was Men
31%, Women 74%.
The average readership of the 27 picture pages was
Men 88%, Women 91%.
Men showed the highest interest in pictures that were
related to events. Women preferred pictures of children
and babies and a close second human interest pic-
tures. Women also gave high attention to crime pictures.
Here are the average scores for pictures about several
different kinds of subject-matter:
Men Women
National defense ....................................................... 73% 61%
Children and babies ........................ ................. 50 70
Beauty Queens, glamor girls ............................. 52 60
W eddings, engagements ......................................... 25 66
O bituaries ................................................................... 37 46
Theater, movie, radio celebs. ................................ 32 48
Sports ............................................................................. 54 17
Science; oddities ....................................................... 60 65
Society, club news ................................................... 25 63
F ashions ........................................................................... 12 59
Accidents and disasters ..................... ................. 66 67


General Features
Here are the average scores for several kinds of gen-
eral features:
Men Women
Com ics (1,388) ..................... ................................. 60% 58%
Panels with gag lines ..... .................................... 60 61
Local columnists (52) ............................................. 28 24
Political columnists ............. .................................. 24 15
Health colum nists ........................................ ............. 10 27
Hollywood columnists ...................................... 10 25
Weather (highest in each paper) ......................... 44 52
Deaths (highest in each paper) ......................... 33 61
Radio program s ......................................................... 38 48
40 (continued on next page)







Men Women
Cross-word puzzle .................... ............................. 6% 8%
Index ................................................................................ 5 6
B ridge ................................. ....................................... 4 6
L ead E editorial ................................. ........... ..... 34 22
Women's Features
Here are the average scores for women for several
kinds of women's features:
Advice to lovelorn ..................................................................... 48%
Society, personals ............................................................................ 43
Highest scoring society story .................. ................ 38
Child advice ...................................................................................... 24
Food advice ..................................................................................... 31
E tiquette ............................................................................................ 22
D ress pattern: pix ............................................................................ 36
Dress pattern: copy ........................................................................ 19
M enus and recipes .......................................................................... 31
B eauty advice .................................................................................... 24
Needlework pattern: pix ........................ ................................. 29
Needlework pattern: copy ............................................................ 17

INTENSITY OF INTEREST IN COLUMNS
The Des Moines Register and Tribune, in 1962 in per-
sonal interviews with a probability sample of its readers 18
years and older in the state of Iowa, asked three questions
about columnists. The questions were:
In the morning Register (Evening Tribune), is there
a writer, reporter or columnist whom you read fairly reg-
ularly?
What is his or her name?
(When a specific columnist is named): Suppose that
column were dropped from the paper. Would you feel as
though you had lost touch with a personal friend, or
wouldn't you feel that way about it?
The responses to the third question were as follows:

Tribune Register
Men Women Men Women
None read regularly ....................... 52.6% 38.8% 32.0% 25.8%
As though you had lost touch with
a personal friend ........................... 17.8 29.6 36.0 41.1
Would not feel that way ................. 29.6 31.6 32.0 33.1

There were some significant differences between the
responses of subscribers living in Des Moines and subscrib-
ers living outside that city. For both sexes combined, the
results were:

Tribune Register
Des Moines Outside Des Moines Outside
None read regularly ........... 54.8% 43.9% 35.0% 23.3%
As though you had lost touch
with a personal friend ...... 14.3 26.1 30.0 46.6
Would not feel that way ........ 30.9 30.0 35.0 30.1
41








The columnists were: Gordon Gammack, Ann Landers,
Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart, David Lawrence, Ries Tuttle,
Walter Lippmann, Josephine Lowman, Harlan Miller, Syd-
ney Harris, Mary Hayworth, Fletcher Knebel, Sec Taylor,
Dorothy Draper and Brad Wilson.
Perhaps other newspapers would get some useful in-
formation by asking the same questions about the colum-
nists they carry. This fact, however, should be kept in mind:
The Des Moines study was by personal interview on a multi-
stage probability sample in which each reader had an equal
opportunity of being included. A self-administered mail
survey would yield differences as between columnists, but
it could not exactly be compared with the Des Moines find-
ings as to the same columnists.
(Des Moines Register and Tribune, Iowa Media Audi-
ence Study, 1963)

THE CHURCH PAGE:
DO READERS LIKE IT?
Root and Bolder, in 1963-64, queried by mail 630 re-
sidents of Syracuse and interviewed members of 12 "or-
ganized religious groups" about their readership of reli-
gious news in newspapers.
Since only 24.8% of the recipients of the questionnaire
returned it, the sample had a disproportionate number of
religious-oriented respondents. Responses of the "church-
connected" population, which was personally interviewed,
varied only slightly from those obtained from the mail
questionnaire. (Interest in the subject matter is a principal
motive for returning questionnaires.)
The mail questionnaire data on readership of the
church page, however, is as follows:
Usually read 36.5%
Sometimes read 45.5
Never read 15.4
Not answered 2.6
The differences between Catholics and Protestants
were slight.
The respondents' answers to a question about their
satisfaction with newspaper coverage of religion shows that
59.4% were satisfied and 21.3% were not satisfied. The
breakdown by religious affiliation is as follows:
Cath. Protest.
Satisfied 72% 57%
Not satisfied 15 27
Don't know, N.A. 13 16
The number of respondents who had other religious af-
filiations was too small for their responses to be statisti-
cally significant.
Both the mail sample and the sample of "church-con-








nected" groups were asked which kinds of religious news
they "like to read." The results were reported by the num-
ber of respondents who stated a first preference for each
type as follows:
Mail Church
Respondents Group
Personalities, feature stories, etc. 36 42
International church news 32 67
Church notices or ads 26 26
National church news 23 50
Seasonal meditations 11 18
Dedications, anniversaries 4 6
Other 2 6
Tota I 134 215
(Robert Root and Harold Bolder, "An Analysis of the
Social Profile of the Religious Audience and Its Use of the
Mass Media." Paper read at the convention of the Associa-
tion for Education in Journalism at Syracuse University,
August 1965.)

AGE AS A FACTOR IN NEWSPAPER READING
Schramm and White, in 1949, did a readership study of
746 readers of an Illinois evening newspaper of about
65,000 circulation. Ages ranged upward from 10 years.
Their main findings were as follows:
1. A young reader seems to be introduced to the news-
paper by the pictorial content. Among readers 10 to 15,
comics are by far the most read items in the paper, fol-
lowed by news pictures and political affairs cartoons. Read-
ership of news is far below the readership of these pic-
torial features.
Readership in Age Group 10-15
A ll N ew s ......................................................... 5.7%
N ew s Pictures ............................................... 43.3
C artoons ........................................................... 27.1
C om ics ............................................................. 80.3
E ditorials ......................................................... 0
Public Affairs News ..................................... 3.6
Econom ic N ew s .............................................. 0
Crime and Disaster News ........................... 6.7
Sports N ew s ................................................... 9.2
Society N ew s ................................................. 3.8
2. Reading of comics is at its height in the teens and
decreases steadily from the age of 15 on.
Male Female
10-19 ............................................. 76.5% 71.0%
20-29 ........................................... 66.3 54.4
30-39 ........................................... 60.3 42.6
40-49 ................................................ 59.4 35.5
50-59 ................................................ 32.1 21.8
60- ................................................ 36.5 12.1
3. Reading of news pictures apparently begins as
early as comics, but increases (instead of falling off as
comics do) after 15, reaches a peak in middle life and re-
mains relatively high.








(News pictures) Male Female
10-19 .......................................... 46.8% 44.6%
20-29 ............................................. 61.2 59.6
30-39 ............................................. 65.3 62.5
40-49 ............................................. 67.6 59.3
50-59 ............................................. 46.7 51.7
60- ............................................. 51.6 41.1
4. Reading of political and editorial cartoons begins
strongly in the teens, increases slightly, then tapers off.
Male Female
10-19 ............................................. 41.5% 15.0%
20-29 ............................................. 39.4 20.1
30-39 ............................................. 39.0 27.0
40-49 ............................................. 42.5 26.0
50-59 ............................................. 29.0 23.5
60- ............................................. 22.5 17.0
5. Reading of society news is low in the teens and
thereafter rises to a high plateau between the ages of 30
and 60.
Male Female
10-19 ............................................. 3.6% 7.7%
20-29 ............................................. 6.8 14.0
30-39 ............................................. 10.8 19.6
40-49 ............................................. 8.8 20.7
50-59 ............................................. 11.2 20.1
60- ................... ....................... 11.0 15.3
6. Readings of sports news is at its height in the
twenties, thereafter tapers off.
Male Female
10-19 ........................................... 17.0% 4.5%
20-29 ............................................... 31.7 3.9
30-39 .......................................... 22.4 5.2
40-49 .......................................... 25.5 4.5
50-59 ............................................ 18.2 7.1
60 ............................................. 14.1 4.9
7. Teenagers are more likely to read crime and dis-
aster news than any other broad class of news. Reading of
crime news increases with age until the decade of the
thirties, after which it remains relatively level.
Male Female
10-19 ............................................. 11.9% 14.2%
20-29 ............................................. 21.2 22.8
30-39 ............................................. 34.0 35.6
40-49 ............................................. 25.6 39.2
50-59 ............................................. 32.1 33.3
60- ................................................ 31.2 31.0
8. Reading of public affairs news increases with age.
Male Female
10-19 ................................................ 6.8% 8.3%
20-29 ............................................. 25.1 18.9
30-39 ............................................. 31.5 26.2
40-49 ............................................. 30.7 27.1
50-59 ............................................. 35.6 25.5
60- ............................................. 36.9 26.8
9. Reading of editorials increases with age.
Male Female
10-19 ............................................. 2.1% 7.6%
20-29 ................................................ 26.5 22.6
30-39 ............................................. 43.3 36.3
(continued on next page)







Male Female
40-49 ................................................ 44.3 % 36.0 %
50-59 ............................................. 47.6 33.0
60- ............................................. 36.0 32.0
10. Men's reading of news seems to come to a peak at
an earlier age than does women's. [Ed. Note: The authors
do not explain what these measures represent.]
Male Female
10-19 ............................................. 9.5% 8.8%
20-29 ............................................. 21.3 15.2
30-39 ............................................. 23.4 20.1
40-49 ............................................. 21.5 20.9
50-59 ............................................. 22.8 19.9
60- ............................................. 21.1 17.6
11. Older readers of both sexes combined are more
likely than younger readers to read letters to the editor.
10-19 .............................................................. ..... 2 .3%
20-29 ................................................................ ... 19 .0
30-39 ............................................................... ... 30 .1
40-49 ................................................................ ... 31 .0
50-59 ................................................................... 37.2
60- .................................................................. .. 35.6
Summarizing reading patterns by age, it appears that
a reader comes in later years to use a newspaper less and
less for entertainment, more and more for information and
serious viewpoints on public affairs. There are noteworthy
declines of comics and sports with age, noteworthy in-
creases in the reading of public affairs news and editorials.
Editorials, which are near the bottom in the 10 to 20
bracket, are second only to news pictures in the over-sixty
bracket.
(Wilbur Schramm and David M. White, Age, Education,
Economic Status: Factors in Newspaper Reading,
Journalism Quarterly, 26:149-159. June, 1949.)

AGE AS A FACTOR OF READER INTEREST
Some kinds of news and features are read
mainly by older readers and some kinds mainly by
younger readers.
The Goldsboro (N.C.) News-Argus in April 1965 con-
ducted a survey of the reading interests of its subscribers
by means of a self-administered questionnaire, 905 sub-
scribers responding.
The University of North Carolina School of Journal-
ism, with a computer, analyzed the responses by age
groups.
About 70 % of the responses were from women (a
recipe book was offered as a reward for return of the
questionnaire). The data presented in Tables 1-4 are not
broken down by sex only by age.
Only the percentage of readers who said they read a
particular kind of news "regularly" is given. This is a
measure of intensity of interest.









Internal evidence of the responses indicates that many
of the percentages in the "not answered" class actually are
"never" readers. This is because many of the respondents
especially the older ones marked only the kinds of
news they read either "regularly" or "occasionally." This
is a risk inherent in surveys done by a self-administered
questionnaire.
It is interesting that as many as 27% of the readers
in the 40-49 age group read "Teen Topics" regularly (Table
1).
TABLE 1
Deaths- Health Teen Girl, Boy
Age Funerals Column Topics Scout'News
Below 17 26% 16% 68% 0%
18-24 36 18 20 5
25-29 51 29 8 10
30-39 60 31 16 19
40-49 79 42 27 20
50 & over 85 39 18 19
Perhaps the parents of Boy and Girl Scouts are about
the only adult regular readers of Girl and Boy Scout news.
Table 2 seems to reflect the fact that relatively few of
the population below 30 years of age read in the roles of
citizen or taxpayer. (See "City Hall" column.)


Age
Below 17
18-24
25-29
30-39
40-49
50 & over


Age
Below 17
18-24
25-29
30-39
40-49
50 & over


TABLE 2
City
Hall
0%
26
24
37
49
50


Police
Reports
68%
46
55
43
38
31


*TABLE 3
Local Hunting-
Sports Fishing
53% 16%
28 26
21 22
30 24
47 33
31 22


TABLE 4
Bride's Church
Age Births Engagements Pictures Bulletins
Below 17 16% 26% 42% 5%
18-24 33 40 43 21
25-29 48 39 47 20
30-39 48 38 51 -23
40-49 49 56 62 38
50 & over 47 54 64 43
*In interpreting some of the data in Table 3, it should
be kept in mind that the sex composition of the sample is
as follows:
(Continued on next page)


Dear
Abby
68%
82
79
81
80
70


Daily
Comics
90%
59
42
44
45
33


X-Word
Puzzle
37%
17
11
11
15
15










Male Female Stated
26.3% 73.7% 0%
34.2 52.6 3.2
17.4 69.6 13.0
24.8 63.5 11.7
30.7 57.2 12.1
25.1 53.2 21.7


Age
Below 17
18-24
25-29
30-39
40-49
50 & over








Chapter 4


READERSHIP BY TEEN-AGERS

Because the child lives in a world of fantasy his intro-
duction to the newspaper is through the comics. When he
becomes an adolescent he begins to read for reality. Both
the adolescent and the adult read some of the same news-
the kind that has a basic human interest.
But the adult also reads in a specific role-that of tax-
payer, investor, parent, housewife and member of certain
groups, to mention a few roles.
We have not done enough research to find out the
extent to which youth has acquired an interest in the
subject-matter that we know interests adults. Nor do we
yet know which kinds of news and features interest both
youth and adults, although one study ("Teen-age and Adult
Reading," p. 48) suggests that science is such a type.
The same study also indicates that youths are fairly
heavy readers of front page news, although not as heavy
readers as adults.
We need to do more sophisticated research in this area.



TEEN-AGE AND ADULT READING
A parallel study of adult and teen-age readership
of a newspaper is summarized.
Perhaps one way to insure high readership of news and
features by the next generation of adults is to present now
more of the subject-matter in which teen-agers are inter-
ested and will continue to be interested.
This strategy is suggested by one of the findings in
a parallel readership survey of adults and ninth graders
of the Springfield (Ill.) Register of Sept. 17, 1964. The
studies were done by Anthony J. Scantlen of The Copley
Newspapers.
Here are the comparative readership scores of a news
story on page 21, with a Houston dateline, which speculates
about the surface of the moon whether it is brittle or a
sea of dust. The headline was "Crunchy or Dusty? That's
Still the Big Question on the Moon."
Men 14% Women 13%
Boys 17 Girls 11
Although this is only one finding in one community
about one news story, the scores suggest that, in the next
48








generation, there will be a larger audience for news about
science than there is now.
It further suggests that more of the present content
should be about what will interest teen-agers when they
become adults than what interests them now but will not
interest them after they have become adults (e.g., teen-age
pages).
This is another way of saying that the main problem
is not one of introducing youth to the newspaper, but of
reinforcing and satisfying the interests which already exist.
Science news may be only one type of content which
meets such specifications.
Reading in a Role
One of the objectives of this parallel study was to ascer-
tain the extent to which teen-agers read certain types of
news because of the basic interests that all persons have as
distinguished from interests related to a specific role of
the reader the role of investor, parent, housewife, voter,
taxpayer and member of a specific group (e.g., alumnus
of a certain university and membership in a certain church).
These are mainly adult roles.
Readership survey measurements for this purpose are
imprecise for two reasons: (1) the teen-ager, on the aver-
age, does not read as much of the newspaper as does the
adult, and (2) the teen-ager does not read the newspaper in
exactly the same way that the adult does. (See "How and
When Canadian Youth Reads the Newspaper," p. 14.) The
teen-ager reads the front page rather avidly and turns im-
mediately to certain items, but does not read the newspaper
as systematically as does the adult.

Here are some scores on items which the adult reads in
a specific role:
New York stock tables:
Men 16% Women 4%
Boys 6 Girls 1
(This newspaper reports only the closing price on 150
stocks; about 1350 issues are traded on the Big Board
daily.)
Recipe for apple pie (with 4-column art):
Women 48% Girls 8%
Contrasted with the apple pie recipe scores are these
which represent a basic female interest as distinguished
from reading in a role:
"Road to Beauty" (practical advice on a women's page):
Women 23% Girls 12%
Some Other Scores
Two items related to the 1964 presidential election
campaign: (continued on next page)








"Texas Democrats Heed Connally Plea"
(p. 1 with 1-column art):
Men 41% Women 33%
Boys 25 Girls 13
An editorial page cartoon entitled "There'll Be an Un-
balanced Line This Season" shows Barry Goldwater, as a
ball carrier facing his own offensive line with only his
center facing the opposing line, indicating opposition or lack
of support of his own party.
Men 22% Women 13%
Boys 45 Girls 22
The high interest of teen-agers is apparently more because
of the football theme than because of interest in national
politics.
Just below the cartoon is a Drew Pearson article
("Solons Haggle With Hoffa"). The scores:
Men 29% Women 20%
Boys 3 Girls 2
Here are some other scores for which no interpretation
is presented:
$6300 Fire (p. 1 brief):
Men 59% Women 64%
Boys 26 Girls 22
Obits (p. 35):
Men 43% Women 67%
Boys 2 Girls 9
Ford Strike by UAW (under the largest display
head on p. 1) :
Men 55% Women 23%
Boys 32 Girls 17
"Illinois Airman Takes Lynda Bird to Lunch"
(art only, p. 1) :
Men 50% Women 60%
Boys 47 Girls 70
Girl Scouts Will Begin Voting
For Eligibility to Roundup (p. 20) :
Women 9% Girls 9%
Jackson Says He Was Better Last Season (baseball):
Men 29% Boys 14%
Boy, 9, Dies of Hunting Wound (p. 4):
Men 46% Women 49%
Boys 24 Girls 25
Dear Abby (Heading: "Mother of Ten"):
Men 52% Women 82%
Boys 26 Girls 77
"Blondie" comic strip:
Men 53% Women 45%
Boys 71 Girls 78
A study of parallel samples of adults and teen-agers
which would test interest in synopses of news stories and
features instead of the conventional readership study
of one issue of a newspaper would eliminate such con-
taminating variables as display and position in the news-








paper. It might, therefore, obtain more reliable comparisons.
It would also permit the testing of more types of content
than are available in a single issue of a newspaper.

KINDS OF NEWS INTERESTS:
ADULTS AND TEEN-AGERS
When the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune last February
questioned 949 adults in their homes and 943 high school
students in their classrooms, the respondents were asked
this question: "In which of the following types of news or
features are you most interested ?"
In order to supply a convenient way for analyzing the
answers by adults and teen-agers of both sexes, the per-
centages have been converted to index numbers, the bench-
mark (100) being men's interest in local news. Thus, it will
be seen in the table below that boys report only one-half
as much (50) interest in local news as adult men do (100)
and girls report about one third (34) as much interest in
society news as men in local news.
Men Women Boys Girls
Local news ............................................. 100 114 50 47
Sports .................. ............................... 81 18 102 15
W orld news ............ ......................... 70 50 56 39
National news ..................................... 58 47 31 27
Com ics ........................................................ 31 23 53 39
TV listings ............................................. 28 31 31 23
M ovie news ........................................... 17 24 27 32
Society ..................................................... 11 47 6 34
W omen's features ................................. 9 71 3 71
There are several ways of looking at the data in the
table which do not require reference to men's interest in
local news (100). For example, women and girls have
exactly the same interest in women's features (71). But
girls have not developed quite as much interest in society
news.
Girls have almost as much interest in sports news as
women have, although it is relatively low for both age
group (18, 15).
Girls report the same interest in world news as in
comics (39).
The reader, of course, can make other comparisons.


TEEN-AGE READING
OF THE MONTREAL STAR
A high percentage of teen-agers search the
newspaper for certain kinds of reading matter and
are exposed to much of the content.
Daniel Starch (Canada) Ltd. did a readership study for
the Montreal Star of the issue of Oct. 23, 1964, interview-








ing 86 male and 75 female teen-agers who stated they had
read something in that issue. Ages were from 13 to 17
years, the median age for boys being 141/2 and for girls
almost 14.
One measure reported by Starch is called "Noted,"
which includes those readers who had seen the item and
had noted some outstanding element such as headline or
illustration. Here are some of the "Noted" percentages for
selected pages, meaning that something was observed on
the page:
Page Male Female
44 C om ics ............................................................... 85% 84%
29 Accent on Youth page ..................................... 84 87
19 Entertainment page ......................................... 83 76
20 Entertainment page ......................................... 80 81
28 Radio and tv page ........................................... 58 61
46 Sports page ....................................................... 64 21
47 Sports page ....................................................... 65 13
48 Sports page ....................................................... 52 13
1 Page 1 new s ..................................................... 76 77
5 General new s ..................................................... 24 85
9 General new s ................................................... 45 33
10 General new s ..................................................... 55 45
13 Editorial page ................................................. 57 49
15 W om en's page .................................................... 5 75
17 W om en's page ............................................... .. 6 51
16 W om en's page ................................................. 31 57
Starch also reports the reading of specific items by
"Read Most," which measures those readers who had read
half or more of the item. The accompanying table shows
the percentages for certain items.


Page


1 Judge Meunier Gets Two Years; Former
MP Guilty of Perjury ..................................
9 U.S. Watches Race for Senate; Gloves off in
N .Y Cam paign ..................................................
16 Food at Its Best (Women's page) ................
29 Youth Jury Curbs Crime in Chicago (Youth
p ag e ) .............................................................. ....
5 Dept. store ad (1500 lines) ............................
15 Specialty Store ad (226 lines) .....................
19 Theatre ad (360 lines) ....................................
19 Theatre ad (162 lines) ....................................
(Special Starch Readership Study Among
Montreal Star, Oct. 23, 1964 Issue.)


Male Female
28% 20%
28 13
13
23 16
1 49
1 51
42 37
48 41
Teenagers, The


FREQUENCY OF CHILDREN'S NEWSPAPER READING
In their study of children's television viewing in 1958-
1960, Schramm, Lyle and Parker obtained some data on
children's frequency of newspaper reading. Their subjects
were located in San Francisco, in five towns in the Rocky
Mountain area, and in two communities in British Colurn-
bia. The responses reported below are to a question about








how often the children read a newspaper. The frequency
of newspaper reading by San Francisco children was re-
ported by grades in schools:
Every Several
Day Days a Week
Eighth grade:
Boys 44.7% 28.9%
Girls 50.5 30.5
Tenth grade:
Boys 62.3 28.2
Girls 48.3 32.8
Twelfth grade:
Boys 68.2 24.3
Girls 64.2 25.7
Frequency of newspaper reading in the Rocky Moun-
tain communities was analyzed by mental ability and
scholastic grades (boys and girls combined).
Mental Ability Read Every Seldom or
and Achievement Day Never Read
Sixth grade:
High 63% 5%
Middle 51 8
Low 34 21
Tenth grade:
High 75 3
Middle 67 5
Low 62 10
The investigators found that the bright child is a heavy
television viewer until about the sixth grade, but then he
emerges as a light viewer. By the eighth and tenth grades
mental ability is associated with relatively light viewing.
The authors' explanation of this change is as follows:
"For one thing, of course, the change coincides with
the beginning of adolescence, when the child discovers new
social needs. Again, it comes at a time when the child dis-
covers new intellectual challenges. School grows harder;
the newspaper becomes more than a carrier of comic strips;
the child's peers begin to talk about politics, religion, and
other controversial questions that require taking a stand.
The child is, therefore, led to a more purposeful use of the
media; rather than merely absorbing content, he goes
seeking specific content. And he tends to make propor-
tionately greater use of the media that will 'stand still'
while he seeks what he needs in other words, print."
The investigators interviewed children in two British
Columbia communities. The main difference between these
communities (both about 5,000 population) was that one
community (called "Teletown") received a television signal
from a nearby metropolitan community and the other (" Ra-
diotown") was 200 miles from the nearest open-circuit
television station. The investigators selected British Colum-
bia communities because they could not find in the United
States any community in which a television signal was not
received by a considerable part of the population.








The investigators found greater newspaper reading in
"Teletown" than in "Radiotown" probably because
metropolitan newspapers were more available in "Teletown."
The percentage who reported reading the newspaper every
day were as follows:
Radiotown Teletown
Sixth grade 34% 45%
Tenth grade 44 57
Here are some other differences in communication be-
havior of sixth and tenth-grade children combined:
Radiotown Teletown
Number of comic books
read per month 7.92 3.60
Average number of movies
seen per month 4.45 1.15
Average number of hours
on ave. school day
listening to radio 3.07 1.68
Average number of books
read per month 3.41 3.18
Pet. reading newspaper
more than one a week 72.3 74.4
To the extent that such data can be generalized, it
means that the effect of television has been to reduce
movie attendance, radio listening and comic book reading
(fantasy material), but has not had any appreciable effect
on reading for reality.
In addition to learning about frequency of newspaper
reading, the investigators obtained data in San Francisco
on the reading of newspaper content for children in six
different grades. The data in the accompanying table are
for reading of boys and girls combined.
A significant fact is exhibited in the table, viz., the
considerable step-up in the reading of all news except
society between the sixth and eighth grades:
Grade Grade Grade Grade Grade Grade
2nd 4th 6th 8th 10th 12th
Comics 56% 82% 77% 75% 61% 59%
Sports 3 25 27 34 42 45
Society 0 2 4 12 11 16
Local news 6 8 12 54 58 76
National news 2 4 15 20 23 36
Foreign news 0 5 12 30 31 40
Editorials 0 8 10 10 13 22
Columns 2 12 13 32 31 41
(W. Schramm, J. Lyle and E. B. Parker,
Television in the Lives of Our
Children. Stanford, California, 1961.)


TEEN-AGE READING
The Edmonton (Alta., Canada) Journal last November
commissioned a readership study of teen-agers.
The study was done by Daniel Starch (Canada) Ltd.








A minimum of 50 teen-agers of each sex in three age
groups were interviewed. Fifty-eight of the 351 respond-
ents had read nothing in the particular issue, although all
of the households had received the newspapers.
The Starch scoring method, which had been designed
for measuring readership of magazine advertisements, re-
ports items as "noted," "read some" and "read most."
Table I (page 55) reports the "read most" scores
for certain items, with the number of the page on which
the item appeared. The scores are the percentage of the
sample who had read something in the issue and are re-
ported by sex in each age group. Four of the items ap-
peared on the "Teen Talk" page.
The "noted" scores for certain pages, meaning that
those interviewed "noted" something on the page, are
shown in Table II below.

Table 1
13-15 16-17 18-20
M F M F M F
1-Page 1 news 89 79 94 90 96 91
4-Editorial page 93 77 88 78 93 87
10 Sports 67 44 75 56 78 53
11- Sports 56 25 63 32 59 26
19- Women's page 56 71 44 76 41 85
53 -Teen Talk page 89 100 96 100 87 91
56 TV page 80 77 77 68 61 74
57 TV page 78 75 83 64 78 68
59 Comics 91 90 100 90 78 81
Table II
13-15 16-17 18-20
M F M F M F
4-Letters to the Editor 6 10 15 8 20 26
4- Editorial ("Down to Earth") 0 2 6 2 11 2
3- Animals at Storyland Zoo 46 21 38 40 24 30
16- Pope Donates Crown 26 10 33 20 41 32
20- Ann Landers 46 85 65 90 52 94
21- Hints From Heloise 7 25 13 14 2 38
23 W.H.O. Studies Teenagers'
Problems 4 27 13 32 11 34
26- Students, Staff, Parents
Proud of Hillcrest School 7 10 23 16 17 19
42 Blondie 70 75 60 68 52 57
48 TV Provides Model for
Teenage Crime 2 6 23 30 38 17
*53 High School Notebook 26 42 63 64 41 47
*53 Hair Styles in Britain
Confuse City Teens 67 79 83 80 74 81
*53 -Ten Girls for Every Boy 41 58 60 64 48 72
*53 Dance Dates 24 46 56 60 46 51
**57 Man With the Answers 35 33 44 34 48 30
**57- TV Views 17 8 27 10 28 11
58- Huntin' and Fishin' 15 0 10 2 20 0
*Teen Talk page
**Tv page
(Edmonton Journal, The Teenager's Medium and Teenage
Reach, 1965.)







NEWSPAPER READING BY EIGHTH GRADERS
Unlike television, which has one big audience, the news-
paper has several audiences. Much of the content of the
newspaper is for readers who read in a role that of tax-
payer, voter, investor, parent, housewife or membership in
a particular group. But what are the basic reading inter-
ests that are shared by nearly all readers ?
One way to get a partial answer is to measure the read-
ing behavior of children of certain ages say, 12 to 14
years. At those ages the readers have not married, are not
working for a living, do not vote, do not invest and are not
members of an adult group. Their readership scores come
closer to reflecting the basic needs of the individual than do
the readership scores of adults. They do not reflect, to any
great extent, the "acquired" needs of the individual.
Some information of this kind is available in a study of
eighth grade readers of the Denver Post made in May, 1956.
Since, however, this readership study was an adjunct of a
larger study, no important hypotheses were tested. But
some of the data is of value.
One fact ascertained by the study was that much of the
children's reading was confined to the first page. The
median score for first page reading was 10.3% for boys and
10.2% for girls. This is about one-third as much as adults
read on the first page. For pages 2 through 11, the average
scores for boys was only 2.6% and for girls 3.5%.
The two highest read stories were:
Boys Girls
8,100 Rings Taken at Hotel ...................... ............ 27% 25%
Girl on Roof Not the Jumping Kind ................. 21 32
The ring theft story was under a banner headline. The
scores for the second story suggest that children select
stories that are about people of their own age. There is some
confirmation for this finding in the readership of a story
on page 11 ("Boys Rescue Companion"). The scores: boys
14%, girls 224. An accompanying 3-column picture was
seen by 35% of the boys and 53%/ of the girls, and the
caption was read by 35% of the boys and 36% of the girls.
Other page 1 scores were:
Boys Girls
Churchill's Wife to Bequeath Eyes ..................... 18% 27%
W weather story ...................................... ................... 18 18
Air Raid Fire Injures 5 (London) ..................... 16 15
Half Million Left to Animal Charities ............. 14 15
Ike M ay Visit Colorado .......................................... 16 13
M iller Plans 7 Stores ................................... ........... 10 7
New Annexing Proposal Made ............................. 5 7
Story About a Pentagon Feud .................................... 5 7
Story About Foreign Aid ......................... ........... 5 6
The highest read item on page 1 was the weather fore-
cast (not story) boys 44%, girls 38 Readership of the
index was boys 67%, girls 63%.








Scores for pictures on page 1 were about the same as
for adults in the average readership study very high.
The scores for pictures on inside pages, exclusive of the pic-
ture page, were lower than adult scores, and for the picture
page were about one-half as high as average adult scores.
Readership of items on the editorial page was just
above zero, although 20% of the boys and 107, of the girls
read the editorial cartoon.
Readership of the women's pages was very low for both
art and text. But the content of that issue was not rep-
resentative of the usual content of those pages. The highest
read art was a fashion picture of a 5-year-old girl in a party
dress. Girls had a score of 18% for this picture and 9% for
the caption. Since girls assume the role of mother at a
tender age when they play with dolls, this score is not sur-
prising.
Advertisements as news have a high appeal for girls.
One full page department store ad with illustrations of
adults' suits, dresses and slacks had a score of 49%/. Girls
who were light viewers of television had considerably high-
er scores than did girls who were heavy viewers. No ex-
planation of this difference is apparent.
A second full page ad of outdoor furniture, glassware
and a few other articles had scores of 11% boys and 28%
girls. Since the children themselves were not in the market
for such articles this is an interesting finding. These scores
were higher than those for most amusement ads, although
one ad for a movie ("The Truth About Flying Saucers") had
a score of 40% for boys and 26% for girls.
Sports page readership scores were as follows:
Boys 'Girls
Story of yesterday's game between Denver and
S t. P a u l ...................................................................... 14 % 3 %
Box score of this game ......................... 7 1
American Association standings .............................. 22 5
Big League roundup story ........................................ 15 2
Orioles-White Sox trade of 5 players:
N ew s story ................................................................ 9 1
P ictu res ...................................................................... 2 1 8
Sports colum n (local) ................................................ 10 2
F football pix (6 cols.) ................................................ 38 12
Since children are highly oriented to fantasy, we would
expect high readership of comic strips. The average
(median) scores for the 16 comics were 40% for boys and
51% for girls. Readership of the individual comics ranged
from 20% to 82% for boys and from 19% to 90% for girls.
The children were highly selective in their comics reading:
some strips had very high scores and some very low scores.
Boys and girls, for the most part, selected the same comics.
The "Ask Andy" feature had a score of 16% for boys
and 17% for girls.








One provisional inference that could be made from this
study is that it is at these ages children are beginning to
be oriented to reality as indicated by their news reading.
More information can be obtained about the reading of
both children and adults from parallel studies of children's
and adults' reading of the same issue of a newspaper. Such
a study will be made this autumn by an Illinois newspaper
of ninth graders and adults.
Before-and-after measurements of children's news-
paper reading in connection with a newspaper-in-the-class-
room project were made by a California newspaper and
are reported on page 19.

READERSHIP OF 'HIGH SCHOOL' PAGE
The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, in 1963, asked 1,000
high school boys and girls whether or not they read the
"High School Page" in the Sunday Tribune. The results
were somewhat different for boys and girls:
Boys Girls
Every Sunday 30.5% 56.2%
Occasionally 53.8 37.3
Never 15.7 6.5


HIGH SCHOOL PAGE
MORE POPULAR WITH GIRLS
In 1960, in 1963 and again last February, the South
Bend (Ind.) Tribune asked a large number of high school
students this question: "Do you read the High School Page
in Sunday's South Bend Tribune?" The results:
Boys Girls
1960 1963 1965 1960 1963 1965
Every Sunday 34.0% 30.5% 31.8% 62.6% 56.2% 59.5%
Occasionally 46.0 53.8 49.3 32.6 37.3 35.0
Never 26.0 15.7 18.9 4.8 6.5 5.5

TEEN-AGE READING BEHAVIOR
The Milwaukee Journal (evening) and Sentinel (morn-
ing) asked this question last summer of people between
13 and 18 years of age who said they had read one of the
papers "Yesterday": "Did you read the news pages, such
as local, national and world news yesterday ?" The results:
Boys Girls
Journal Sentinel Journal Sentinel
Read a lot 28% 20% 23% 16%
Read some 54 50 51 55
Not much 12 26 21 26
Didn't read 6 3 5 3
See also "Communication Behavior of College Soph-
omores," on page 65.








Chapter 5


SOME COMMUNICATION BEHAVIOR

Although adults devote more time each day to the elec-
tronic media than they do to reading newspapers and
magazines, they seem to read the newspaper more fre-
quently ("Some Reading, Viewing and Listening Behavior
of Iowans," p. 17, "Education and TV Viewing," p. 34, and
"Some Audience Behavior in Delaware," p. 66).
For some kinds of events, people get their information
from electronic media and from other people; for other
kinds of events they get their information from the news-
paper ("The Diffusion of News," p. 59).
After the advent of television, did children and youth
substitute it for the print media which they had previously
"consumed"? The article at p. 52 ("Frequency of Children's
Newspaper Reading") indicates that TV substituted for
comic books, movies and radio to a great extent but did not
affect reading of books and newspaper.
Whoever doubts that the electronic media are an
adequate substitute for the daily paper during a newspaper
strike should read the sophisticated research reported at
p. 61 ("The Hunger for News").
For some kinds of news, suburban residents prefer the
local weekly over the metropolitan newspaper, radio and
television ("Suburban Weekly Preferred for Certain News
Stories," p. 62).
Having friends in a suburb and wishing to compare
one suburb with another suburb are the main reasons that
residents of the city and of another suburb read suburban
news in Minneapolis newspapers ("Reader Interest in
Suburban News," p. 63).



THE DIFFUSION OF NEWS
The medium from which people first learn about an
event is related to the importance of the event and to
whether the event is unexpected or scheduled.
The newspaper is mainly relied on for pre-event and
post-event information when the event is scheduled.
Greenberg studied the diffusion of four kinds of news.
These were about (1) an unexpected event of near-epic
proportion (the Kennedy assassination); (2) unexpected
59








events of "bulletin" importance (e.g., the capture of young
Frank Sinatra's kidnapers); (3) unexpected events of less
importance (e.g., the results of Ruby's sanity test and a
racial disturbance in a nearby school); and (4) a scheduled
event of considerable interest (the Clay-Liston fight in
February 1964).
Almost 9 in 10 persons heard of the shooting of the
President prior to the announcement that he had died -
two-thirds of these within a half-hour after the shooting.
Of these "early knowers," 41% were at home and heard
from a radio or tv receiver; 38% were at work and most of
them were informed by other persons; 21% were "out some
place" (e.g., shopping, in a car, visiting) and half of them
were informed by radio or tv and half by other persons.
Greenberg found a high awareness of events of the
"bulletin" type. For example, 96% had heard of the release
of young Sinatra and 88% had heard of the capture of the
kidnapers.
The principal source of information for the "bulletin"
type of news was either tv or radio, although about 10%
first learned from other persons.
Knowledge of events of less than "bulletin" importance
was much less. For example, only 45% knew about the re-
sults of Ruby's sanity test and only 14% about the racial
disturbance in a nearby school. Awareness of the less im-
portant types of news came first through the newspaper;
very few had heard about the event from others.
Greenberg found that 94% of his sample had "heard or
read about the results of a recent heavyweight boxing
match" (the first Clay-Liston fight). Of these, 87% had
listened to the live radio broadcast, 70% being at home at
the time.
Those who had planned to listen made their plans on
the basis of information supplied by media other than radio:
59% from their newspaper, 18% from other persons, 8%
from radio, and 1% from tv (the remaining 14% could not
recall how they had known about the scheduled event and
the time of the radio broadcast).
Respondents were asked to state the source from which
they received most information before the fight and after
the fight. The pre-event sources were: newspaper, 64%;
tv, 11%; radio, 10%; and other persons 8%.
The post-event sources were: newspaper, 66%; radio,
14% ; other persons, 10% ; tv, 7%.
Many persons (46%) who had said before the fight
they had little interest in it nevertheless listened.
The more interested people were before the fight the
more they depended on the newspaper as a post-event
source of information; the less interested people were be-
60








fore the fight, the more they relied for post-event informa-
tion on other people.
The 226 persons (77% of the sample) who said they
had talked about the fight reported conversations with a
total of more than 2,000 other persons. Greenberg speculates
that this large number of conversations was related to the
surprising outcome of the fight.
For a summary of studies of other kinds of informa-
tion diffusion, see page 99 ("Word-of-Mouth Network and
Editorials").
(Bradley S. Greenberg, "Diffusion of News of the Kennedy
Assassinationn" Public Opinion Quarterly, 28:225-232,
Summer, 1964; Bradley S. Greenberg, "Person-to-Person
Communication in the Diffusion of News Events," Journal-
ism Quarterly, 41: 489-494, Autumn, 1964; Greenberg,
Brinton and Farr, "Diffusion of News About an Anticipated
Major News Event," unpublished MS.)

THE HUNGER FOR NEWS
When a strike deprives people of their news-
paper a great majority make a strong effort to
get a substitute.
The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury (morning) and News
(afternoon) suspended publication on February 14, 1959
after the stereotypes and pressmen had struck.
Merrill E. Samuelson designed a study of San Joseans'
news-seeking behavior and began interviewing a sample of
residents one week after the strike began, completing the
interviewing over the week-end.
During the first week newspapers published in San
Francisco (44 miles distant) were made widely available in
San Jose. Samuelson found that 77% of the persons in his
sample had obtained (by purchase or loan) one or more San
Francisco papers, and that 27% had obtained one or more
papers every day of the week. Since the advertisements and
San Francisco local news stories were not relevant to San
Joseans, their motivation was to read about national, state
and international events.
Samuelson presented a current events test to all of the
persons in his San Jose sample and also to a randomly-
selected sample of adults living in Palo Alto, 17 miles dis-
tant from San Jose. The test referred to non-local news
that had been reported in Palo Alto and San Jose papers
the week before the strike and in Palo Alto papers during
the week of the strike. Some of his findings were:
1. San Joseans were less well informed in the week
after the strike had begun than they had been in the pre-
vious week, as measured by their knowledge of pre-strike
and intra-strike news reported in the Palo Alto paper.







2. Those readers who substituted a 'San Francisco
daily were better informed than were those who had not
(average scores: 4.31 vs. 3.21).
3. Those who substituted radio and tv newscasts had
no more knowledge of the non-local events than those who
did not. Sixty-four per cent of the San Joseans said they
had increased their use of newscasts during the first week
of the strike. (After the first week, San Jose radio and tv
stations stepped up their broadcasting of news, but no
measure of listening was taken by Samuelson after the
first week.)
4. Those who substituted newspapers but not news-
casts scored 4.37 as compared with 3.28 for those who had
depended solely on newscasts (a 33'S4 higher score).
Samuelson employed a reporter to cover the news of
the courts, city and county government and undertakers,
and found that very few San Joseans had heard of any
of the events. An interesting sidebar of the local news
tests was that many persons interviewed wanted to keep
the sheet on which the 14 events were listed; presumably,
they wanted to tell other persons about the local events.
(M. E. Samuelson. Some News-seeking Behavior in a
Newspaper Stirke. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University,
1960.)

SUBURBAN WEEKLY PREFERRED
FOR CERTAIN NEWS STORIES
Which medium provides the best coverage of certain
kinds of events in the reader's own suburb the metro-
politan newspaper, television, radio or the suburban weekly ?
This question was asked about certain kinds of news
stories by a metropolitan newspaper in the Middle West in
a study of its own suburban readers in 1964. The percent-
age of suburban readers who preferred the weekly over the
other media for these types of news stories was as follows:
About local school affairs (e.g., PTA) 71%
About newsworthy accomplishments by people
in this suburb 68
About meetings of clubs and organizations
around here 52
High school sports around here 51
About disputes or controversies involving
your (suburb) 50
About street and highway improvements
around here 36
About accidents happening around here 32
About crime and police activities in this suburb 24
Advertisements by firms located in this
suburb 46








READER INTEREST IN SUBURBAN NEWS
Having friends in a suburb and wishing to compare
one suburb with another are the main reasons why
residents of the city or of another suburb read
suburban news in the Minneapolis Star.
Carter and Clarke, in 1962, measured the amount of
interest in suburban news by readers of the Minneapolis
Star (evening). In addition to reporting suburban news
throughout the week, the Star publishes four zone editions
on Thursday which are circulated within wedge-shaped
areas originating near the city center and fanning out to
include several suburbs. Thus, each zone edition reaches
a mixed city-suburb audience.
Readers were asked whether they found news in gen-
eral "concerning the suburbs outside Minneapolis" or "con-
cerning the suburbs other than the one you live in" inter-
esting or not particularly interesting. The respondents
were also asked why they felt as they did.
More suburbanites than city residents expressed in-
terest in news about the suburbs (63% versus 46%).
The reasons given were coded into six categories.
Table 1 shows the reasons given to explain interest. The
table is based on the total number of reasons given, not
the total number of respondents.
TABLE 1
City Suburb
Physical proximity 7% 11%
Psychological proximity 38 14
Comparison 10 33
Specific Content 29 30
General interest 13 9
Other reasons 3 3
Physical proximity: This means, as to interest, "I
used to live there;" "I frequently drive through the sub-
urbs ;" and as to lack of interest, "I don't live there."
Psychological proximity: As to interest, "We have
friends who live in the suburbs;" "might like to live in the
suburbs some day;" as to lack of interest, "don't know
anybody in the suburbs."
Comparison: This means comparing their own part of
town or their own suburb with what they could learn about
other suburbs as to schools, sewage problems and general
growth and business development. Only those respondents
who were interested in suburban news gave this reason.
Specific content: This category includes persons who
mentioned specific suburban news content, whether or not
they introduced the notion of comparisons between their
own place of residence and the suburbs. The category in-
cluded people who were not interested in suburban news as
well as people who were interested.
General interest or lack of interest: "I don't have time"
and "I'm new in the city."







Table 1 shows two main differences between city
residents and suburbanites. First, it is mainly the city
people who gave a "psychological proximity" answer;
nearly all such respondents mentioned having friends in
the suburbs. Three times as many women as men gave
that reason.
Secondly, it is mainly the suburban residents who gave
a "comparison" reason; that is, readers who were inter-
ested in comparing schools, sewage problems, etc. in their
own suburb or part of town with the situation in other
suburbs. Twice as many men as women gave that reason.
The reasons given to explain lack of interest are shown
in Table 2:
TABLE 2
City Suburb
Physical proximity 10% 14%
Psychological proximity 27 8
Comparison -
Specific content 17 2
General lack of interest 21 40
Other reasons 25 36
For purposes of analysis, the "general lack of interest"
and the "other reasons" categories could be combined.
This is because the reasons coded as "other" represent such
responses as "I'm just interested in my part of town."
These two categories account for 76% of the reasons of
suburbanites and 46% of the reasons of city dwellers.
The "psychological proximity" reasons (e.g., "we have
no friends there") accounts for 27% of the reasons given
by city dwellers for lack of interest. It should be noted,
however, that 46% of the city residents did express an
interest in suburban news.
The authors sum up the study in these words:
"These findings seem to suggest that special coverage
of news in the suburbs is likely to attract readers or prove
uninteresting to them chiefly on the basis of whether or
not they have friends living in those areas. However, the
paper's suburban readers find news about other suburbs
attractive primarily as a means of making comparisons
with their own area and as a source of hard-core information
about problems experienced by people in a similar environ-
ment
"From this analysis, one might infer that human in-
terest in suburban news largely is a matter of audience in-
volvement, rather than message content. Readers are not
passive consumers; instead, they report interest in sub-
urban news because it provides them with problem-solving
information or because learning about the news facilitates
social relations between themselves and friends living in
the suburbs."
(Roy.E. Carter, Jr. and Peter Clark, "Why Suburban








News Attracts Reader Interest," Journalism Quarterly, 39:
522-525 Autumn, 1962)


COMMUNICATION BEHAVIOR
OF COLLEGE SOPHOMORES
Sophomores who study the social sciences get
their news from radio and the afternoon newspaper
more than from other media. The differences be-
tween male and female students is not great.
The publisher of morning and afternoon newspapers
in a middle western metropolis in which a university is
located surveyed 335 sophomore students in social sciences
classes last spring about their use of the news media. Here
are some of the results:
Every day 3-4 times
or nearly a week Not
every day or less at all
Listen to radio news 87% 20% 2%
Watch tv news 46 47 7
Read afternoon paper 65 24 11
Read morning paper 41 31 28
The reading of news magazines (mainly Time and
Newsweek) was as follows:
Weekly 34%
3-5 times a month 15
Occasionally 27
Very seldom 20
No time specified 1
None 3
Male and female differences were found on the use
"every day" and "nearly every day," as follows:
Male Female
Read afternoon paper 68% 61%
Read morning paper 46 33
Watch tv news 47 45
Listen to radio news 76 81
All students were asked how much time they spent
with each medium. For the afternoon paper, the self-esti-
mate was as follows:
15 minutes or less 51%
30 minutes or longer 36
Non-readers, not answered 13
Similar data for the students' use of other media was not
reported.
Factors other than interest in news determine media
use by college students. One factor is their pattern of
daily living and another is the availability of the media in
living groups; in this particular university, however, a
good many students live at home. A third factor is the
amount of off-campus news in the particular student daily
newspaper.








SOME AUDIENCE BEHAVIOR IN DELAWARE
Benson & Benson, Inc. did a readership and attitude
study in the state of Delaware in the spring of 1964 for
the News-Journal Company of Wilmington.
This question was asked of each of the 800 respond-
ents: "Did you, yourself, do any of the following things
yesterday?" The responses for the state and for Wilmington
were as follows (Because of multiple answers, the percent-
ages total more than 100 %) :
State Wilmington
Listen to the radio 66% 66%
Watch TV 74 84
Read a magazine 39 38
Read a book 16 16
Go to a movie 2 1
None 8 5
Respondents were also asked: "Within the past 7 days,
did you read any daily newspaper?" The answers follow:
State Wilmington
Did read 92% 94%
Did not read 8 6
The answers to the question, "Within the past month,
did you read any Sunday newspapers?", were as follows:
State Wilmington
Did read 74% 78%
Did not read 26 22
(Delaware Newspaper Readership and Attitude Survey for
the News-Journal Company, June, 1964.)







Chapter 6


EYE MOVEMENTS

Although very little research has been done about
visual process involved in reading the newspaper, we do
know how people's eyes move over a column of print wider
than 11 picas. We also know how people look at pictures and
can speculate how people read a picture and the text below
it ("Eye Movements in Reading and in Looking at Pic-
tures," p. 67).
One experiment shows that a properly-written legend
in the picture caption results in almost perfect comprehen-
sion of what the picture is about, whereas a caption without
a legend conveys less information and causes the reader to
make more erroneous interpretations of the subject-matter
of the picture (The Effect of the Legend in the Picture
Caption," p. 70).
Type set in 15-pica measure is read somewhat faster
than type set in 11-pica measure. Also, readers think it
takes longer to read type set in 11-pica measure than in
16-pica measure. Matter set in 16-pica width also seems
more "attractive" to readers than does type set 11 picas
wide. The composition cost for setting type in 11-pica width
is higher than for type set in 15-pica width ("Research on
Column Width," p. 72).



EYE MOVEMENTS IN READING
AND IN LOOKING AT PICTURES
The figure on page 68 is a photograph of the eye
movements of a reader of printed matter set 18 picas wide.
An eye camera has photographed the reflections of a
light beam on the cornea of the reader's eyes as they oscil-
lated over the lines of print.
The vertical lines show the center of fixation as the
eyes moved across the lines of type. An inefficient reader
will have more fixations per line than an efficient reader.
The numerals above each line show the serial order in
which the fixations occurred. Thus, in the first line the
order is 1, 2, 4, 3, 5, and 6 not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Look also at the second, third and seventh lines.
These are regressions; that is, the reader has to look
back and re-read a part of a line. Regressions are character-
istic of inefficient readers. But the nature of the reading











make the short wavi enthus ast resort to the





9 6 1 SI

1 3 2 < ^
geography, c rojology, topography and evfn
iN 7 II 7


m teorology. A know dge of these fa tors is


S1 1 0 5
decidedly helpful in logging foreign station
ED ql II g


Thus, if all the 3henomen which influe ce
II 03 6 7


electromagnetic radiationi could b taken in o
IS 6 o t o to


account it wold be possi le to predeterin ie
It 4 4 11







matter may also cause regressions. The figure above is for
one reader only and for the particular subject-matter, which
includes several long words.
The numerals below each line indicate the length of
time the eyes stopped at each center of fixation; that is,
the duration of the fixation pause.
Duration is measured in units of 1-30th of a second.
In the first line, for example, the duration of the first
fixation was 10-30ths of a second. Duration for the average
reader is 6-30ths to 7-30ths of a second about one-fourth
of a second.
The average reader reads average writing at the rate
of about 250 words a minute about 4 words per second.
For a child in the first grade an average duration pause
for silent reading of easy material is about 19-30ths of
a second. By the time the child is in high school or college
(that is, has become a mature reader), the average dura-
tion of a fixation pause for the same type of easy reading
material will have been reduced to about 6-30ths of a second.
The purpose of reading, of course, is to get ideas from
the printed page. Difficulties, either in the recognition of
words or in comprehension of the thought presented, have
a considerable effect on the characteristics of eye move-
ments and fixation pauses.
When one reads, his eyes focus on words and groups of
words and he stores up in his memory their provisional
meaning until he has reached the end of the sentence. The
reader is thinking along with the writer, perceiving images
and evaluating. He comprehends each word in terms of the
context that was presented in previous words or sentences.
Looking at Pictures
When looking at pictures (as in an art gallery), the
viewer's eye movements are in a series of quick jerks and
pauses, as in reading.
There are two patterns of perception in looking at
pictures. The first is a general survey in which the eye
moves, as in reading, over the main parts of the picture.
These movements locate the centers of interest.
The second pattern is a series of fixations which are
concentrated over small areas of the picture the detail.
Some of the fixation pauses in the second pattern are rel-
atively long, indicating reflection. Such pauses are evidence
of a thought process not of any perceptual difficulty as
would be true in reading difficult materials.
An eye movement photograph [by Guy T. Buswell] of
an automobile poster ad suggests how a reader may read a
picture caption. The Fisher Body poster was of the head of
an extraordinarily beautiful blond with a very interesting
coiffure and had eight words of printed text.









The viewer whose eye movements were photographed
had 40 fixations. The face and hair of the blond were the
main centers of interest. Not until the twelfth fixation was
any attention given to the printed text, and then for a
brief succession of three fixations.
The eye returned again to the text for Fixation 21, but
swung back to the gal's face and hair on Fixation 27. On
Fixation 32 the eye again returned to the text, then back to
the picture, then to the text for Fixation 38, and finally
back to the picture for two fixations.
For most news pictures the eye would not shift very
often between the picture area and the caption area, but
one could speculate that the frequency of shifting would
vary with the degree of ambiguity of the particular news
picture as well as the amount of detail and the individual
reader's interest in the subject-matter.
(G. T. Buswell, "How Adults Read," Suppl. Education
Monographs, The School Review and Elementary School
Journal, No. 45, Aug., 1937; G. T. Buswell, How People
Look at Pictures, 1935)

THE EFFECT OF THE LEGEND
IN THE PICTURE CAPTION
For many years newspapers have carried skillfully con-
structed headlines that supply a synopsis of the story.
The purpose of the headline is not only to entice the reader
to read the story but to assist him in his selection of news
stories.
What a reader selects is determined by what Wilbur
Schramm has called the "fraction of selection":
Expectation of reward
Effort required
As Schramm said, "You can increase the value of that
fraction either by increasing the numerator or decreasing
the denominator, which is to say, that an individual is
more likely to select a certain communication if it promises
him more reward or requires less effort than comparable
communications."
Some newspapers apply this principle to the writing
of news picture captions, but many others appear not to
have thought through the function of the caption, espe-
cially the function of the legend. Some captions carry no
legend. Others merely capitalize and bold-face the first
few words of the caption. Other legends are carelessly
written.







The reader, therefore, is compelled to expend some ef-
fort merely to find out what the picture is about. This
frustrates the reader and makes him resentful. An ex-
ample: A reader in Suburb A of a newspaper which circu-
lates in more than one community expends effort merely
to find out that a picture is of people or an event in
another community in which he has no interest whatever.
He would never have read the caption if the legend had
indicated the location.
Few pictures, of course, are taken under ideal condi-
tions, and the photographer has to do the best he can at
a certain moment. The picture itself, therefore, seldom
tells the whole story: there is some ambiguity in nearly
every picture. An example:
A woman is photographed in front of a building whose
sign indicates it is the Nevada State Prison. But there is
no clue in the picture to tell whether the woman is enter-
ing or leaving the prison or whether she is a visitor or a
prisoner. Actually this picture was of a woman who had
been serving a term for a murder she had not committed;
Erie Stanley Gardner, the mystery writer, had investigated
her case and she was being released.
The author conducted an experiment to test these
hypotheses:
1. The caption with a legend, if properly written, can
transmit more essential facts than a caption without a
legend.
2. The caption with a legend communicates more ac-
curately the facts of the picture story than a caption with-
out a legend.
3. The caption with a legend can be better understood
than a caption without a legend.
4. A caption without a legend tends to leave the reader
with more erroneous information.
Phase I of the experiment was the selection of pictures
of varying degrees of ambiguity. The pictures were sup-
plied by AP and UPI and were presented to subjects with-
out a caption. After this test, the experimenter wrote cap-
tions, including legends, for each selected picture. The
legend on the woman-in-front-of-a-prision picture, for ex-
ample, was: MYSTERY WRITER FREES HER.
In Phase II, two matched groups of subjects were
tested individually- for reading speed of pictures with cap-
tions which had no legends. It was found that each sub-
ject had a different rate of reading speed. Each subject's
own rate was the standard used in Phase II.
Each subject read eight pictures with captions which
were projected on a screen. One-half of the subjects read








pictures with captions which included a legend; the other
half read pictures with the same captions but without a
legend.
After each picture had been read, the subject was
asked to answer these questions:
1. What was the picture about, and how would you
summarize the subject-matter?
2. What things in the picture led you to decide what
the picture was about?
3. What are the words in the written explanation that
help you explain this ?
The experimenter scored the answers. Each picture
was given 5 points, one for each "fact" except when there
were fewer than three essential "facts" in the picture; in
such a case the point considered most important was
scored as two points. Each error was subject to one point
deduction. Thus, the maximum mean for all subjects for
each picture was 5.
The results were as follows:
With legend Without legend
Picture Mean Errors Mean Errors
Suicide 4.77 0 3.62 6
Innocent prisoner 4.38 2 3.31 5
Birthday 4.15 0 2.38 4
McCarthy signatures 4.62 2 3.31 8
Funeral 4.38 1 3.54 6
Accident 4.69 2 3.08 7
Ship launching 4.23 0 2.85 5
Pie prize 4.54 2 2.62 6
(All differences are statistically significant)
An examination of the table above shows that sub-
jects who had been exposed to the legend had almost per-
fect comprehension and made very few erroneous inter-
pretations. Subjects who were exposed to captions without
legends, however, acquired much less information and
averaged almost six erroneous interpretations per picture.
Why did the legends operate in this way ? An examina-
tion of all of the legends tested indicates that they (1)
functioned as headlines in that they were a synopsis of the
event, and (2) supplied the central organizing clue to the
essential meaning of the pictures.
(J. Ling, Degrees of Ambiguity in News Pictures.
Master's thesis, Stanford University, 1955.)

RESEARCH ON COLUMN WIDTH
Readers think that it takes longer to read type in one
11-pica column than it does to read five other type arrange-
ments. The one-column, 11-pica width also seems less "at-
tractive" to readers than do the five other forms.
The composition cost for the 11-pica column is 17%
higher than for a 15-pica column.







Hvistendahl, of South Dakota State College, in 1964,
tested subjects on these six type forms:
1. Double column 16 pica
2. One column 16 pica
(Wall Street Journal is 15 pica)
3. Double column 11 pica
4. 3-column 16 pica
5. 3-column 11 pica
6. One column 11 pica
(AP and UPI teletypesetting width)
Using four different methods of comparison, readers
were asked questions as to how long it would take to read
the six type forms (proofs pasted on cardboards). The ex-
periment measured how long an article looks; it measured
readers' expectations.
Subjects were also asked to compare the type forms as
to their "attractiveness."
The point size and the amount of type (number of ems)
were constant for all six tests. So that the subjects would
respond only to the form of the type, the headlines were set
in nonsense syllables and the body type was composed of
pied lines rather than actual reading matter.
By three of the four methods, the results for expected
reading time and for attractiveness combined were in the
order listed at the beginning of this summary. (The ex-
perimenter decided that the fourth method of comparison
was inappropriate for this kind of test.)
In 1965, one of Hvistendahl's graduate students, Albert
Leicht, found that 30 line-casting machine operators could
set 35% more copy in a 15-pica width column than in an
11-pica column. When an adjustment was made for errors
(the wider measure type requires more resetting for each
error) the net gain in production was about 17% for the
30 operators.
Leicht also found that hyphens were reduced from 1.1
per 100 ems of type set in the 11-pica measure to 0.9
hyphens in the 15-pica measure.
Another of Hvistendahl's graduate students, Jack
Nuchols, Jr., tested the reading speed of some 500 readers
using the 11-pica and 15-pica widths. He found that the
wider measure could be read more than 4% faster.
Commenting on the recent change by some news-
papers to a 6-column format with wider news columns,
Professor Hvistendahl said: "The increases in production,








along with a significant decrease in the number of hyphen-
ated words and the number of times an operator must
hand-space lines, should be a strong incentive for change.
"This would seem especially true for dailies under 50,-
000 circulation which are caught in the production cost
squeeze, but have little hope in the near future of being
able to use computers economically to reduce type-setting
costs."
(J. K. Hvistendahl, Reader Estimates of Reading Time and
Attractiveness of Type in Six Different Forms, 1964; press
release from the Printing-Journalism Department, South
Dakota State University, 1965)








Chapter 7


MAKEUP

Two studies reported in this chapter suggest that the
length of a news story determines the amount of the story
that gets read. Another' study suggests that the subject-
matter of the story is also a determinant ("Where and Why
Does the Reader Stop Reading?" p. 76, and "Where Does
the Reader Stop Reading a News Story?" p. 78).
A third study reports the percentage of readers who
begin an editorial and an editorial feature who do not finish
reading it ("Where Does a Reader Stop Reading an Edi-
torial and Feature?," p. 80).
When a story is jumped, how much of the loss of read-
ership occurs on page 1 before the jump and how much
occurs on the jumped portion of the story? This question is
partly answered in the article at p. 82 ("Loss of Readers
When Story Is Jumped"). A few newspapers jump a story
only in extraordinary circumstances; instead they present
the first part of the story on page 1 and the second part on
an inside page under a separate headline as if it were a
different story. At least one newspaper puts all of its jumps
on the back page of the first section so that the reader does
not have to open the newspaper until he has finished reading
page 1; he just turns the section around. We do not yet have
a definitive explanation of loss of readership due to jumping
a story although the data suggest that both length .and
subject-matter are the determinants.
Three articles in this chapter report the effect on reader-
ship of presenting certain items in different positions within
the newspaper. One reports about a comic strip, a second
about a lovelorn column and a third about position on the
left- and right-hand pages. ("Position of a Comic Strip,"
p. 84; "Location in the Paper," p. 84); and "Readership
in 138 Papers, 1951," p. 38).
The article, "Who's Right? Who's Wrong?", at p. 85,
reports the extent to which 105 APME members agree and
disagree about certain procedures of makeup. With only a
few of the 17 propositions did the editors express strong
agreement or disagreement, indicating that they were not
too sure about the opinions they expressed about most of
the propositions.







WHERE AND WHY DOES THE READER
STOP READING?
How much of a story does the reader read ? What makes
him stop at a certain place and what leads him on?
In 1947 Wilbur Schramm made a study which got some
answers to these questions. To the best of ANPA's knowl-
edge, there has been no follow-up research on this particular
subject. Schramm made a standard readership study. When-
ever a respondent indicated that he had read a certain
story he was asked "How far did you read?" Only when
the reader was certain as to how far he had read was his
response accepted.
(In the standard readership study, a story is counted
as "read" when the respondent reports he has read the
headline and a significant part of the story such as the
lead. No attempt is made to measure how much of the story
was read.)
Although the subject matter of a story is an important
factor, it could not be analyzed in a study of limited scope.
So Schramm's analysis is of an average of several thousand
instances in which one person remembered how far he had
read. It was a pilot study and its results could be modified
by additional research.
The accompanying table shows the percentage of a
news story in a large daily that is likely to be read. ["If a
story has N paragraphs, what percentage of these para-
graphs, on the average, is likely to be read by a person
who begins to read the story allowing for different values
of N and for different kinds of newspapers ?"]
Paragraphs Pctg.of
in story paragraphs read
2 96.0%
3 90.6
4 85.8
5 71.3
6 74.4
7 74.6
8 74.0
9 49.3
What percentage of its readers does a large daily lose
per paragraph during the first five paragraphs of a story,
the second five paragraphs, and so on ? Here is the average
rate of loss of readers per paragraph throughout a story:
First 5 paragraphs ............................................... 11.33%
Second five paragraphs ..................................... 3.46
Third five paragraphs ......................................... 1.74
Fourth five paragraphs ....................................... 0.54
If 100 persons read the first paragraph of a news story,
how many, on the average, will read the Nth paragraph if








the story has N paragraphs ? Here is the decrease in read-
ership throughout a news story in a large daily:
N Paragraphs N Paragraphs
Equals Equals
Number Number
2 .................................. 87.9% 12 .................................. 38.0
3 .................................. 71.8 13 ............................... 37.9
4 .................................. 62.8 14 ................................ 36.1
5 .................................. 56.7 15 ................................ 30.7
6 .................................. 51.6 16 ................................ 29.9
7 .................................. 46.7 17 ................................ 29.5
8 .................................. 43.0 18 ............................... 28.4
9 .................................... 39.8 19 .................28.0
10 .................................. 39.4 20 ................................ 28.0
11 .................................. 39.6
Schramm also found that high initial readership of a
story is not a guarantee that readers willstay longer with
the story. In fact, in the larger daily he measured, when
length of the story was also considered, stories with a high
readership score lost more of their readers than did stories
with lower readership scores. The investigator speculates
that high initial readership of some stories may be due to
news display rather than to subject matter.
The study also found that stories of five paragraphs
written in inverted pyramid structure lost more readers
than did stories of the same length written in a feature
form. '
What is the effect of typographic devices, such as sub-
heads, bold face paragraphs,. and stars? Schramm's data\
on 1,600 cases suggests, but'does not prove, that, in some
instances, these devices operate* as convenient signs of
stopping places rather than oT ways. of leading the reader
on. For example, 16.4% 'of those who were asked why
they stopped at the place they had indicated specified a
subhead.
This study modifies some of the standard readership
data on jumped stories. To quote:
"In this study there were thirteen continued stories.
They averaged about fourteen paragraphs before the skip,
about ten after the skip. Of every 100 readers who began
these stories, on the average, forty-two were still reading
when they came to the skip, and twenty-seven made the
jump to the continuing page. Blame the skip, then, for the
loss of 36 per cent of the readers who got as far as the skip,
but only 15 per cent of those who began the story. Blame the
length of the story for nearly 80 per cent of the loss!"
How much of the total news content of a newspaper is
read by the average reader? Schramm multiplied the per-
centage of readers who began a story by the average per-
centage of the story's content they had read. The results
of the total newshole were: weekly, 27.8% ; small daily,
77








21.5% ; and large daily, 12.1%.
A chief value of this study is the questions it poses.
The study supplies a method for testing objectively some
of the hypotheses that editors have.
(Wilbur Schramm, "Measuring Another Dimension of
Newspaper Readership," Journalism Quarterly, 24:293-306
Dec., 1947.)

WHERE DOES THE READER
STOP READING A NEWS STORY? (Part II)
On the average, a long news story loses more readers
who begin it than does a short story.
In a readership study of the Washington Post (Thurs-
day, Feb. 11, 1965), by Carl J. Nelson Research, Inc., read-
ers were asked to indicate the extent of their reading of
individual stories.
With reference to 45 stories (and 12 other items),
respondents were asked to state how much of each story
was read, including the continuation of five stories jumped
from page 1.
The interviewer recorded the reading by parts of the
story. Stories were split up in approximately four-paragraph
segments. Twelve had three parts, seven had four parts and
three had five or more parts.
A summary of the analysis which related to jumped
stories was presented in News Research Bulletin No. 12,
Aug. 11. The present summary is of the findings that relate
to loss of readership of inside page stories of different
lengths. It was analyzed by length of story, size of head-
line, subject-matter, and initial readership scores.
Table I shows the average reader loss from the first
part to the second part and from the first part to the last
part (on the same page). The data seem to indicate that
the rate of loss to the last part accelerates as the story
becomes longer.
Table 1
MEN
Average Loss From:
Pt. 1 to
No. of Av. Pt. 1 Pt. 1 to Last Pt.
Stories Readership Pt. 2 Same Page
Stories With:
2 Parts 23 24% 17% -
3 Parts 12 30 23 30r/4
4 Parts 7 31 13 29
5 or more Parts 3 34 18 44
WOMEN
2 Parts 23 18 11 -
3 Parts 12 23 17 26
4 Parts 7 18 17 33
5 or more Parts 3 21 19 48








An interesting finding is that more than one-half of the
readers who began reading two of the five stories with
five or more parts completed them.
Below are listed the headlines of those stories, their
position in the newspaper, the number of parts and, in
parentheses, the percentage of all readers in the sample who
read the first part and the last part.
P. 2: 5 parts. Johnson, Congress Agree on Delay in V.A.
Closings (Men 37%-26%, women 24%-15%).
P. 9: 7 parts. Kosygin Due Today in Korea (Men 31%-
17%, women 13%-7%).
Analysis by Subject-Matter
The 45 stories were categorized as to subject-matter.
The mutually exclusive types were: Crime, Civil Rights,
War, Government, International, Local and National Inter-
est. Government stories included only those originating
in Congress or in a federal agency; National Interest stories
were those with a national interest other than those relating
to Government, Civil Rights or international events.
Table 2 shows the average initial readership and the
losses to Part 2 and to the last part.
Table 2
MEN
Average Loss
Type of No. of Readershp From Pt. 1 From Pt. 1
Story Stories of Pt. 1 to Pt 2 to Last Pt.
Government 13 28% 18% 32%
National Interest 5 24 17 18
Local 11 18 17 28
War 4 44 18 27
International 5 23 17 22
Civil Rights 4 32 9 -
Crime 3 38 11 -
WOMEN
Government 13 20 15 30
National Interest 5 16 13 25
Local 11 16 13 19
War 4 27 19 30
International 5 13 23 31
Civil Rights 4 23 9 -
Crime 3 35 11 -
Types with the smallest losses were Civil Rights and
Crime. All such stories, however, had only two parts. One
of the War stories had seven parts; two had four parts
and one had two parts.
All of the other types had about the same percentage
of losses in Part 2 for men, although the initial readership
varied from 18% to 44%. For women the pattern is not
clear.
That the subject-matter of the later parts of a story
is a significant determinant of continued interest in a story
is exemplified by two individual stories with these head-








lines: "Arthur Schlesinger to Have Key Part in John F.
Kennedy Arts Center Here" and "3000 Jobs To Go to Area
Youth."
This is shown in the table below which exhibits the
readership scores for each part (these are not % of loss).
MEN
No. of
Parts Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3
Schlesinger 2 13% 7% -
3000 Jobs 3 24 21 19
WOMEN
Schlesinger 2 25% 15% -
3000 Jobs 3 30 30 29
It will be noted that, for women, there is no loss from
Part 1 to Part 2 on the second story, but a 40% loss on the
first story. Men had a 12/2 % loss on the second story, but
a 46% loss on the first one.
Since the analysis of reader loss by the other variables
(size of headline and initial readership) is not conclusive,
such data is omitted from this summary.





WHERE DOES A READER STOP
READING AN EDITORIAL AND FEATURE? (Part III)
From 12% to 29% of the readers who begin an editorial or
editorial page feature do not finish it, according to one study.
In a readership survey of the Washington Post (Thurs-
day, Feb. 11, 1965) by Carl J. Nelson Research, Inc., readers
were asked to indicate the extent of their reading of 45 news
stories, four editorials and seven editorial page features.
Summaries of the findings as to news stories are reported
on page 76.
The interviewers recorded the reading by parts of the
article usually in four-paragraph parts. When, however,
the paragraphs in some of the features were extra long,
the parts were three paragraphs.
The accompanying table exhibits the readership scores
by parts. The data seem to indicate:
1. The losses of readership from Part 1 through the
last part, on the average, are only slightly more for features
than for editorials, although the features are longer.
2. The losses of readership of editorials and features by
women, on the average, are only slightly more than they
are for men.








3. The conventional readership studies count a news
story as "read" when the reader has read the headline and
a significant part of the news story. The Washington Post
data pose a question as to whether readership scores of
editorials (and of some features) should be handled in
the same way.
Since the usual editorial (which is argumentation or
explanation rather than narrative) aims to make only one
point and has a unity which most news stories do not have,
perhaps it should be counted as "read" only when it is read
in its entirety.
If this is true, then the average readership scores re-
ported in the 138-newspaper summary of The Continuing
Study of Newspaper Reading (1951) are subject to some
discount. These scores were:
MEN WOMEN
High Low Median High Low Median
Lead editorial 76% 12% 34% 53% 4% 22%
Political columnists 72 1 24 62 1 15
A summary of the research about word-of-mouth com-
munication (see page 99) suggests that, for the purpose
of maximizing influence as distinguished from maximi-
zing readership length of an editorial about an important
and complex subject is not a deterrent.

MEN
Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4 Pt. 5
Lead editorial 31% 24%
Second editorial 22 18
Third editorial 21 19
Fourth editorial 23 19
Fifth editorial 22 17
Walter Lippmann 30 29 26 27 24
William Rice 16 13 13
Evans and Novak 17 16 15 14 13
Art Buchwald 24 21 20 19 18
Capital Reading 14 13 12
John Chamberlain 25 20 19
Potomac Watch 13 11 11 10 11
WOMEN
Lead editorial 19% 16%
Second editorial 16 14
Third editorial 15 11
Fourth editorial 18 15
Fifth editorial 15 11
Walter Lippmann 16 15 13 12 12
William Rice 13 11 9
Evans and Novak 8 6 5 5 6
Art Buchwald 18 16 16 15 14
Capital Reading 7 7 5
John Chamberlain 16 15 13
Potomac Watch 9 9 7 7 7








LOSS OF READERS
WHEN STORY IS JUMPED (Part I)
When two stories were jumped most of the loss of
readers occurred on page 1 before the jump.
When three other stories were jumped most of the loss
occurred on the jumped portion of the story.
A split-run study might determine whether a loss is
mainly due to jumping or to the content of the story.
In a readership survey of the Washington Post (Thurs-
day, Feb. 11, 1965) by Carl J. Nelson Research, Inc., readers
were asked to indicate the extent of their reading of in-
dividual stories.
With reference to 45 stories (and 12 other items), re-
spondents were asked to state how much of each story was
read, including the continuation of five stories jumped from
Page 1.
The interviewers recorded the reading by parts of the
story. Stories were split up in approximately four-paragraph
segments. Twenty-three of the news stories had only two
four-paragraph segments; 12 had three parts; seven had
four parts, and three had five or more parts.
A summary of the analysis which relates to jumped
stories is presented below. The other findings will be re-
ported separately.
Some of the findings are exhibited in the accompanying
table. The first four columns are the "readership" scores,
i.e. the percentage of all of the respondents in the sample
who read the first part (Column 1), the last part on Page
1 (Column 2), the first part on the jump page (Column 3)
and the last part of the jump (Column 4).
"Readership Scores" Loss of Readers
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
Last Pt. 1 on Last Col. 1- Col. 1- Col. 1-
Story Pt. on Jump Pt. of Col. 2 Col. 3 Col. 4
No.* Pt. 1 Page 1 Page Jump % % %
MEN
1 57 32(3) 31 27(7) 44 46 53
2 53 38(3) 30 29(3) 28 43 45
3 44 37(2) 35 30(5) 16 20 32
4 39 34(2) 22 19(5) 13 44 51
5 65 37(3) 35 30(6) 43 46 54

WOMEN
1 36 20(3) 20 13(7) 44 44 64
2 35 27(3) 17 16(3) 23 51 54
3 29 27(2) 20 15(5) 7 31 48
4 30 23(2) 17 13(5) 23 43 57
5 50 27(3) 20 16(6) 46 60 68
*1: (P. 1) Curb Asked on Outflow of Dollars
Jump, p. 10 (4-col. headline)








2: (P. 1) Johnson Holds Urgent Session on Crisis
Jump, p. 12 (4-col. headline)
3: (P. 1) Risk of Wider Viet War Seen in More Reprisals
Jump, p. 17 (6-col. headline)
4: (P. 1) Paris Ends Its Silence on Viet Nam; Asks Reopening of
Geneva Talks
Jump, p. 16 (3-col. headline)
5: (P. 1) GI Dead Hunted in Bombed Viet Billet
Jump, p. 16 (3-col. headline)
The last three columns show the percentages of reader
loss. The losses are: from the first part to the last part on
Page 1 (Column 5) ; from the first part on Page 1 to the
first part of the continuation (Column 6) ; and from the first
part on Page 1 to the last part of the continuation (Column
7).
The figures in parentheses in Column 2 are the number
of parts on Page 1 and in Column 4 the number of parts in
the continuation on an inside page.
The news stories are identified below the table: the
headline on Page 1, the inside page number of the jumped
stories and the size of the headline on the continuation.
Loss on Page 1: The table shows that the two stories
with the highest initial readership lost 44-46% of their
readers, by both men and women, after the first part on
Page 1 (Columns 1, 2 and 5). The other stories, however,
had a smaller loss.
The "readership" scores for the last part on Page 1 of
all five stories were about the same 32-38% for men and
20-27% for women (Column 2). It is an interesting finding
that about one-third of all men readers and one-fifth of the
women readers read this much of Story 1, which is about the
United States' monetary problem.
Two other stories on Page 1 (with 2 and 3 parts) were
not jumped. The table (at top of Page 41) shows the per-
centage of loss from the initial part to the last part of those
stories (designated as A and B), corresponding to Columns
1, 2 and 5 in the table above.
MEN
Story* Col. 1 Col. 2 Col. 5
A 42 35 17%
B 47 37 21
WOMEN
A 26 23 12%
B 32 28 13
*A(2): Abel Continues to Lead McDonald in Race for
Steel Union Presidency
B(3): $431 Million in Rapid Transit Bill for Washington
Sent to Congress
These stories lost fewer readers than did the majority
of the jumped stories.








Loss on Jump: Columns 2 and 3 show that nearly all
men readers of Stories 1, 3 and 5 who had read the last
part on Page 1 also read the first part of the continuation
on an inside page. This was also true for women readers of
Story 1, but not for Stories 3 and 5.
The percentage of additional loss from the last part on
Page 1 to the first part of the jump for all jumped stories
was as follows (the figures in parentheses indicate the
number of parts on Page 1):
Story Men Women
1(3) 3% 0%
2(3) 21 37
3(2) 5 26
4(2) 35 26
5(3) 5 26
This table shows that losses are not related to the
number of parts on Page 1. They could be related to the spe-
cific content of the middle and/or later parts of the stories.
Loss in Jump Portion: Column 4 shows how many
readers per hundred in the sample completed each story
and Column 7 shows the percentage of loss from the initial
readership. Total length of the stories is not related to the
reading of the entire story.
It is interesting to observe that as many as 27% of all
men readers of the newspaper completed the ten-part story
about the monetary problem.
A split-run study might determine whether loss of
readers is due to jumping or to the content of the story.


LOCATION IN THE PAPER
In a 1961 readership study by a metropolitan news-
paper in the Middle West, the "Dear Abby" column ap-
peared on the comics page with these scores: men 64%,
women 88%.
In a 1964 readership study of the same newspaper on
the same day of the week but with 20 fewer pages, the
feature was in the last column of the classified ads (next to
the last page). The scores were: men 46%, women 69%.

POSITION OF A COMIC STRIP
Since September 1962, when the Philadelphia Inquirer
developed its Exposure/Ratings measurement of advertis-
ing readership, it has also measured the readership of 128
editorial items.
One of the items was the David Crane comic strip,
which was measured at four different times. The first,








second and fourth measurements were made when the strip
was on the comics page (p. 43 or p. 47). The third was
made when the strip was on a classified page (p. 54). Here
are the "saw and read" scores:
Date Page Men Women
July 11, 1963 Comics 34% 28%
Aug. 8, 1963 Comics 33 33
Dec. 3, 1964 Classif. 23 33
June 17, 1965 Comics 32 32
Research Manager Harry Hannum's interpretation:
"David Crane was switched to the classified page. This is
often the next step to oblivion. But David made a comeback
and has been restored to the regular comic page."
Over the whole period three different strips on a classi-
fied page and eight different strips on the comics page were
measured, some of them being measured more than once.
On a classified page were On Stage, Rip Kirby and David
Crane. On the comics page were David Crane, Blondie,
Hagen, Fagin and O'Toole, Wizard of Id, Dick Tracy, The
Berrys, Mark Trail and Rick O'Shay.
Strips on the classified page averaged: men 22 %, wom-
en 23%. Strips on the comics page averaged: men 36%,
women 34%.
(Report prepared by the Philadelphia Inquirer Re-
search Department, Oct., 1965.)

WHO'S RIGHT? WHO'S WRONG?
For the purpose of developing some hypotheses
about the way the reader uses his newspaper, Dr.
Jack Lyle, of the Department of Journalism at
U.C.L.A., queried 168 members of the APME as
to their assumptions concerning makeup. Five out
of eight (105) editors replied. There was consider-
able disagreement among the editors about some of
the assumptions on which they operate. It would
be possible to test some of these by split-run and
eye-camera. The agreement/disagreement data are
reported in the article below. A more detailed
analysis of the replies will be published later.
By Jack Lyle
University of California
Journalism textbooks not only discuss but prescribe
certain makeup practices; however, it is interesting to note
that they contain no footnotes citing objective evidence in
support of the dicta of the authors.
That there is less than perfect agreement by editors
with either these textbook authors or among themselves is
evident from a casual observation of a sample of news-
papers.
There are techniques available particularly split-
run and eye camera procedures to make an empirical







evaluation of many such assumptions. One procedural ques-
tion is: where to start? It was thought that one way to
establish a possible priority of items would be according
to the amount of agreement or disagreement among editors
concerning various assumptions.
For this purpose, a questionnaire presenting 17 prop-
ositions was sent to a sample of 168 APME members ask-
ing them to check their agreement or disagreement with
each.
Two of the propositions were considered as basic ones,
and several additional propositions were corollary to them.
Proposition 3 stated: When the reader opens his news-
paper the visual frame he perceives is only the part that
is above the fold; the visual frame is not the whole page.
(Agree, 27%; Disagree, 70%; No answer, 3%.)
There is a possibility that since the proposition read
"opens" instead of "picks up," or "unfolds," some editors
might have answered differently.
Related to this was Proposition 4: When two afternoon
newspapers are displayed on a newsstand side by side and
both display the same lead news story in the same size
type, a prospective buyer from out of town (who is not
familiar with either paper) will select that one which seems
to be the "newsier" (the one which has more stories which
begin above the fold.) (Agree, 56%; Disagree, 41%; No
answer, 3%.)
This was the hypothesis on which the late Gilbert Far-
rar designed the front pages of several leading newspapers.
Mr. Farrar said he had frequently tested the hypothesis by
noting and counting purchases at hotel newsstands. That
was in the 1930's and 1940's when there were more com-
peting afternoon newspapers.
Proposition 8 was the central one of a cluster dealing
with the question of jumps: The reader will be better
served if you have fewer stories on page 1 and no jumps.
(Agree, 66% ; Disagree, 32; No answer, 2%.)
Proposition 5: Some newspapers, which have about a
dozen news stories on page 1 and art aggregating 1-1/2
columns, also run a story 8 columns wide and 4-5 inches
deep above the flag, thus making the columns much shorter
below the flag and forcing the jumping of 4-5 stories. It
would be better not to have a story above the flag than
to force readers to chase down the jumps. (Agree, 57%;
Disagree, 38% ; No answer, 5%.)
Proposition 6: Some newspapers, which have a policy
of carrying a minimum of 12-14 stories on page 1, also strive
for an aesthetic appearance by achieving a horizontal bal-







ance of headlines above the fold and a 3-4 column headline
near the bottom of the page. These practices force the
paper to jump 4-5 stories; it would be better to save the
reader the inconvenience of chasing down the jumps than
to have an aesthetic balance on page 1. (Agree, 48% ; Dis-
agree, 47% ; No answer, 5%.)
Proposition 7: When the readership score on the
jumped part of a story is one-half that of the front page
story it usually means that about one-half of the readers
had quit reading the story before they came to the jump.
(Agree, 49% ; Disagree, 47% ; No answer, 4%.)
Proposition 9: But if you have a story so long that you
have to jump it, this is the best way to handle :the situa-
tion, viz., jump it to the last page of the first section so
that the reader can turn the section around without having
to open the paper and search for the continuation. (Agree,
42% ; Disagree, 50% ; No answer, 8%.)
There is, of course, the possibility that the practice
stated in Proposition 9 is out of the question for papers due
to business-office considerations. To get some measure of
how widespread this problem might be, Proposition 10
was asked:
Since no advertisers have an established position on the
last page of the first section (of my paper) every day in
the week, there will be enough space for jumps on this
page most days of the week. (Agree, 11% ; Disagree, 72%,
No answer, 14%.)
Obviously, then, although four out of ten editors
thought jumps to the back page the best answer to this
problem, it was possible for only one out of 10 to practice
this solution. The relatively large "no answer" proportion
to proposition 9 is due to editors who indicated no agree-
ment or disagreement, but noted their back page was re-
served daily.
Another proposition involving business-office consider-
ations related to so-called "scotch pages" inside.
Proposition 14: You can avoid having pages with a
local display ad 7-8 columns by 18 inches by allowing a
discount to advertisers to entice them to use full pages;
this should be done in the interest of readers. (Agree, 36% ;
Disagree, 49% ; No answer, 15%.)
Unfortunately, it is hard to interpret the response as
some answers were with regard to the technique of avoid-
ing the "scotch page" rather than whether or not they
should be avoided. Several editors volunteered that their
papers penalized such ads by charging full-page rates (or
by outright refusing them) rather than "enticing" by







discount.
The remaining propositions were less interrelated with
others.
Proposition 1: The cutline, i.e., legend, should be un-
derneath the picture, not above it, because the reader looks
at the picture first and often doesn't read the cutline when
it is above the picture. (Agree, 85%; Disagree, 9%; No
answer, 6%.)
Proposition 2: A news digest on page 1, which digests
the only news story on page 5, reduces the readership of
both the story and the advertisements on page 5. (Agree,
26% ; Disagree, 68% ; No answer, 6%.)
Proposition 12: Some editors have said, "The front
page is our show window," meaning that the most interest-
ing and most important stories are put on page 1; it is
just as necessary to have high readership of editorial and
advertising matter on inside pages. (Agree, 95% ; Disagree,
7% ; No answer, 7%.)
Proposition 13: Since a good many poor headlines on
page 1 result from the narrow width caused by a vertical-
type of makeup, head writers can say more when the
paper adopts a more horizontal-type of makeup (that is,
when it uses fewer one-column heads). (Agree, 85% ; Dis-
agree, 10% ; No answer, 5%.)
Proposition 15: Large size newspapers should pack-
age the financial and sports pages in one section because
this makes it easier for the husband and wife to read their
newspaper at the same time. (Agree, 70% ; Disagree, 23% ;
No answer, 7%.)
Proposition 16: It makes no difference whether you
"float" or "anchor" comic strips. (Agree, 14%; Disagree,
80% ; No answer, 6%.)
Proposition 17: In reading the news, the reader is
making a rapid search or exploration to find out what has
just happened in the world and in his community; but
when he reads the opinion pages he has a slower pace and
a more reflective attitude. The opinion pages, therefore,
should not be located where they interrupt news reading
but should be toward the back of the paper because they
are usually read last. (Agree, 24%; Disagree, 68%; No
answer, 8%.)
The editors were asked to give a measure of their in-
tensity of agreement or disagreement by using ++, +,
- or - in their response to items. The highest level of








strong agreement (++) was registered for Proposition 1,
outliness should be below the picture, 35%) ; followed by
Proposition 12, (high readership of inside pages is as im-
portant as for the front page, 28%); and Proposition 13,
(favoring horizontal makeup, 20%).
The highest level of strong disagreement (--) was
scored on Proposition 16 (it makes no difference if comics
are "floated" or "anchored," 32%). This was the only
proposition having 20% or more of the responses in the
strongly disagree category. The tendency of editors, with
respect to the other propositions was to express mere agree-
ment or disagreement, but not to indicate a very positive
opinion.
It might be added that these results don't answer the
question posed in the headline "Who's Right? Who's
Wrong?" Basically, all that the results show is the extent
to which this sample of editors agree or disagree they
could all agree and still be wrong! But it does seem that
the areas reflecting disagreement within the profession
might deserve high priority for research endeavor.







Chapter 8


NEWS STORY STYLE AND STRUCTURE

Two articles in this chapter discuss readability formu-
las, explaining how the formulas were developed, how the
scores are interpreted and what the formulas are good for
("Measures of Readability," p. 90). One of the articles also
discusses context and technical terminology from the point
of view of comprehension.
An experiment by a social psychologist shows how
important it is, in some circumstances, to begin a news
story with the name of the source, as in, "The Harvard
Crimson, a student newspaper, said yesterday that Pro-
fessor Henry Smith, of the department of psychology, had
been dismissed." ("Attribution: The Importance of the
Source," p. 95).
Another experiment tested several ways of organizing
the facts when reporting a two-sided controversy so as to
facilitate the readers' comprehension of the issues and the
arguments of each side ("Readers' Comprehension of
Issues," p. 96).



MEASURES OF "READABILITY"
In the 1920's some professors of education began to
experiment with language elements (sentence length, word
length, prepositional phrases, relative pronoun clauses, etc.)
to discover which elements were associated with what
they called "readability" (i.e., ease of comprehending writ-
ten material). Authors of elementary textbooks for courses
in reading needed some way to predict readability for each
grade in school.
Gray and Leary, for example, computed correlations
between 44 countable language elements and the correla-
tion of each of these elements with the scores of poor
readers on a reading comprehension test.
Later, others Thorndike, Lorge, Dale, Tyler and
Chall continued the research. In 1943, however, Rudolf
Flesch developed a formula which used average sentence
length, average word length and degree of human interest
as a predictor of readability. In 1948 he divided this formula
into two formulas one a measure of reading ease and
the other a measure of human interest. Thus, his reading
ease formula reduced to average word length (i.e., aver-
age number of syllables) and average sentence length.







The Flesch Formula
To use the formula, one needs to know from Flesch's
How to Test Readability (1951) his range of scores for
each level of readability and how to count word length and
sentence length. The formula is:
Multiply the average sentence length in words by 1.015 ............
Multiply the number of syllables per 100 words by .846 ............
Add ............
Subtract this sum from 206.835
Readability Score is ............
When Flesch published his formula in 1943 he de-
scribed the several ranges of scores not only as fitting
certain descriptions of style ("very difficult," "difficult,"
"easy," etc.), but as fitting certain types of magazines
(scientific, academic, pulp fiction, comics books, etc.). Pub-
licity about a formula that measured the readability of
magazines was sufficiently dramatic to get the Flesch
formula out of the academic world and into the world of
journalism. The Associated Press employed Dr. Flesch to
evaluate the readability of its daily reports. United Press
in the meantime had employed Gunning, who had a similar
formula.
After Dr. Flesch's analysis, AP, for example, was able
to write its A wire report with an average of 19 words to
the sentence (an average of 23 words in the lead sentence).
After all of this experimentation, the researchers had
come up with the same formula which editors as far back
as William Cullen Bryant and Charles A. Dana had been
trying to enforce on their writers, viz., use short words
and short sentences.
The main value of the formula, however, is that it
is a pencil and paper device which an editor can use from
time to time to police his writers. AP, for example, had
Dr. Flesch come back and remeasure the A wire report
some years after he had first measured it. Dr. Flesch
found that the average sentence length had increased
since his first analysis.
The formula improved writing in many newspapers
in the 1950's, although there was a second factor which
contributed to the improvement. This was the recognition
by newspapers of the way radio news was being written.
Use of the formula also eliminated a lot of the jargon of
government bureaucrats, and one law journal used it with
good effect.
"Familiar" Words
Dale and Chall had found that the number of "famil-
iar" words plus sentence length measured readability
equally as well as did word length plus sentence length.
"Fundamental," for example, is a more familiar word
than is "basic." A "familiar" word is one to which readers







have been most often exposed. After making several mil-
lion counts of the frequency of usage of words in maga-
zines and books, Thorndike developed a list of the 30,000
most familiar words. (The unabridged Webster dictionary
has more than 450,000 words). But the Dale-Chall formula
is not easy to use because it requires reference to a long
word list.
Context
Another factor which relates to comprehension is not
a language element. It is context. Verbal contexts are the
parts of a written or spoken discourse which precede or
follow a specific expression and are directly related to it.
An unfamiliar word or expression may be understood if
the reader understands the context. The context repre-
sents the reader's experience world as well as his famil-
iarity with words. Thus, the missing word "dog" would
be supplied by nearly all readers in "I heard a ........
bark." But if the incomplete sentence were "For the first
time, I heard a ............ bark," the reader, on reflection,
might supply the word "seal."
Wilson L. Taylor did some experiments with context.
From some of the passages that Flesch had used, Taylor
deleted every nth word (usually every fifth word), and
scored a group of subjects on their ability to supply the
missing words. For every deleted word that was correctly
supplied Taylor gave one point in his scoring system.
He found that these scores measured readability in that
they ranked the reading ease of the passages exactly as
the Flesch formula had ranked them. Taylor called this
method "cloze" procedure (from "close" Gestalt psycho-
logy).
Taylor demonstrated the contribution of context to
comprehension by having a group of subjects score, by his
method, eight passages, one of which was from Gertrude
Stein and one from James Joyce. As is well known, much
of Stein's prose is unintelligible and a good many of Joyce's
words are not in any dictionary.
Here is one of Taylor's tables on rank order prediction
by "cloze" procedure and by the Flesch formula:
"Cloze" Flesch
Erskine Caldwell 1 4.5
Charles Dickens 2 6
Boswell's Journal 3 2
J. Huxley 4 7
Gulliver's Travels 5 3
Henry James 6 8
G. Stein 7 1
J. Joyce 8 4.5
The table indicates, for example, that Gertrude Stein's
semi-intelligible prose was the easiest-to-read passage by
the Flesch formula but next to the most difficult by the








Taylor method.
Taylor's method is not recommended as a way to test
readability. But it does suggest that a writer may use a
word that is unfamiliar to most of his readers provided he
includes enough context for the reader to learn the word's
meaning as he reads it. Time magazine does this fre-
quently. Examples: termagantt," "epicene," and "obsid-
ian." In this respect, Time is something of a textbook for
vocabulary building. Reader's Digest, however, has a reg-
ular feature on vocabulary building "It Pays to Increase
Your Word Power" but in the text of the magazine it-
self the editors seem afraid to use the words the magazine
teaches its readers to understand.

Technical Words

Most technical words cannot be defined by context.
This is because there is nothing in the usual reader's
experience that assists his comprehension. So technical
words must be defined in some parenthetical way. Two
examples:
(1)
The government today won its first derivative citizen-
ship case.
Federal Judge Martin E. Colebaugh handed down
an opinion denying two Chinese a declaration of American
citizenship because they failed to prove they are children
of an American father.
(2)
. Judge Keegan said he would admit the holographic
will to probate even though there were no subscribing
witnesses.
The Judge explained that when the will is holographic'
it is not necessary for a subscribing witness to testify that
the testator's signature is genuine. The whole document is
in his handwriting, he said.

The Wall Street Journal, which by necessity must use
such terms as "rediscount rate" and "short position," de-
fines a technical term at the place in the story it is used
and does this in every story in which the term is used.
This repetition, day after day, may become wearisome for
some readers, but the editors of this successful newspaper
want every reader to comprehend every word in the news-
paper.
(R. Flesch, How to Test Readability, 1951; W. L. Tay-
lor, "'Cloze' Procedure: A New Tool for Measuring Read-
ability," Journalism Quarterly, 30: 415-433, 1953; E. L.
Thorndike and I. Lorge, Teacher's Word Book of 30,000
Words, 1949)








THE READABILITY OF THE
AP TA-WIRE REPORT

Last February, the Associated Press reported reada-
bility scores for its TA-wire report for the week of Sept.
28-Oct. 4, 1964. The analysis had been made with a com-
puter by Dr. Wayne A. Danielson and others at the Uni-
versity of North Carolina School of Journalism. Dr. Daniel-
son is a member of the ANPA News Research Center
Steering Committee.
The gist of the findings was that, on the average, the
stories could be comprehended by a reader who had reached
the sixth grade level. But some people are not quite sure
what that means.
The formula is an equation which "predicts" the grade
level at which students could answer correctly 50% of the
simple comprehension questions about each selection in the
McCall-Crabbs Standard Test Lessons in Reading, devel-
oped at Teachers College, Columbia University, to differ-
entiate reading textbooks at various grade levels.
The elements of the formula are sentence length and
word length. These have been found to be better measures
of comprehension than any other stylistic elements.
The formula, which was developed by Danielson and
Bryan for computer use, is essentially the same as the
Flesch formula (see page 91).
The scores, which can range from 0 to 100, have ap-
proximately the following meanings:
90-100 very easy, third grade level
80-89 easy, fourth-grade level
70-79 fairly easy, fifth-grade level
60-69 standard, sixth grade level
50-59 fairly difficult, jr. high school level
30-49 difficult, high school level
0-29 very difficult, college level
In terms of this scale, the average of the 1,080 AP
stories was 60.1, which is the "standard," sixth-grade level.
In terms of the Flesch description of magazine con-
tent, the scores have approximately these meanings:
90-100 Comics
80-90 Pulp fiction
70-80 Slick fiction
60-70 Digests, Time, mass non-fiction
50-60 Harper's, Atlantic
30-50 Academic, scholarly
0-30 Scientific, professional
For different types of news in the AP report, the com-
puter showed the following average words per sentence:
Human interest 15.8
Crime 16.4
War, rebellion, defense 18.3
(continued on next page)







Public moral problems 18.4
Economics, business, travel 19.1
Politics, govt. acts 19.3
Education, classic arts, religion, popular culture 19.6
Science, invention, research 20.8
Miscellaneous 17.4
Average all stories 18.7
Because the report was during the presidential elec-
tion campaign, 47.5% of the stories were about politics
and government acts.
Dr. Danielson said in his report to AP: "It is ridiculous
to write to please a formula because formulas are not
measures of good style, merely of difficulty of style." An-
other student of language (G. A. Miller) has said: "The
use of short sentences, simple words and personal refer-
ences does not mathematically make the writing good. It
merely avoids one common way in which writing is bad."
A factor which readability formulas do not take into
consideration is the reader's word recognition vocabulary.
The average recognition vocabulary of an adult is about
10,000 words. (It has been estimated that a vocabulary of
9,000 words is required for reading the New York Daily
News.) The average adult has increased his recognition
vocabulary since leaving school.
(AP Log, Feb. 25-31, 1965; W. A. Danielson and S. D.
Bryan, "Computer Automation of Two Readability For-
mulas, Journalism Quarterly, 40: 201-206, Spring 1963.




ATTRIBUTION: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SOURCE
Newsmen for a long time have been aware of the im-
portance of the "who" in a who-says-what news story in
which the "what" is an accusation or is otherwise con-
troversial. The Associated Press Reference Book, for ex-
ample, says:
"Don't be afraid to begin a story by naming the
source. It is awkward sometimes, but also some-
times is the best and most direct way to put the
story in proper perspective and balance when the
source must be established clearly in the reader's
mind if he is properly to understand the story."
A social psychologist would say the same thing in
this way:
"A statement of facts means one thing in context A
and something different in context B, the context being
the source of the statement."
The author demonstrated this by an experiment in
which he presented to two groups of subjects a statement







actually made in 1944 by Eric A. Johnston, president of
the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. The state-
ment was as follows:
"Only the wilfully blind can fail to see that the
old style capitalism of a primitive freebooting pe-
riod is gone forever. The capitalism of complete
laissez-faire, which thrived on low wages and
maximum profits for minimum turnover, which re-
jected collective bargaining and fought against just-
ified public regulation of the competitive process,
is a thing of the past."
One group of subjects was told that the statement was
made by Mr. Johnston. The other group was told that the
statement was made by Harry Bridges, a labor leader.
None of the second group questioned the authorship of
Bridges, but 7 of 35 of the first group questioned the
authorship of Johnston.
Those subjects who were told that the statement had
been made by Johnston, and who accepted that author-
ship, interpreted the statement to mean that the business
leader was advocating an "enlightened" form of capitalism
which would be in the best interests of business. Those
subjects who were told that Bridges had made the state-
ment interpreted it to mean that labor had won out over
capitalism and intended resolutely to defend its gains from
attack. What some of the readers of this statement did
was to alter the content of the communication to fit their
own context.
Other experiments have shown that when a group of
subjects has been presented with a communication which
has no source many of them will supply a source that they
think fits a certain statement.
As the first sentence in this report said, newsmen
have been aware of this fact of psychology for a long
time. But most cub reporters are not aware of the "why"
in the AP admonition.
(S. Asch, Social Psychology. New York,
1952, pp. 420-426.)

READERS' COMPREHENSION OF ISSUES
What is the best way to organize the facts in a news
story about controversial issues to facilitate the readers'
comprehension of the issues?
Richard F. Carter tested groups of subjects on three
structural forms, each being a different arrangement of the
elements in the stories. Type I was as follows:
FlexiblI and lowered price guarantees for farm products
will bring greater consumption and bolster farmers' income,
Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Benson said today.







Benson continued to back the administration program. "The
president's proposals on the agricultural programs will help
economic growth in this nation," he said.
Benson added that prices would rise because of the admin-
istration's plan to take 21/2 billion dollars of surpluses off the
market. These surpluses have depressed prices, he declared.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Alexander Wiley (Wis.) took
issue with his party's program. Flexible supports, he said, will
lead to catastrophe. He urged continuance of fixed, high sup-
ports for farm products. Lowering the parity level below 90%
is to risk economic disaster, Wiley said.
Wiley claimed the administration program of flexible sup-
ports does not take into consideration the mounting costs of
farm labor, machinery and seed.
The three forms are described as follows:
Type I Type II Type III
)ne side is presented Controversy is presented Controversy is presented
vith its associated but neither side of con- but neither side of con-
ame; other side is troversy. troversy.


excluded.
2. Follow-up to 1st para-
graph still on one
side: mention of re-
lated arguments.
3. Transition to other
side of issue with as-
sociated name.
4. Follow-up to 3rd para-
graph on other side;
mention of related ar-
guments.


One side of issue is
presented with associated
name.
Arguments related to
side in 2nd paragraph
are presented.
Other side of issue pre-
sented with associated
name.


Two sides of issue are
presented without asso-
ciated names.
Arguments related to one
side of issue presented
with name.
Arguments related to
other side of issue pre-
sented with name.


Arguments related to side
in 4th paragraph are
presented.
Carter's main findings were as follows:


1. Total comprehension of issues was increased by giv-
ing the reader a neutral orientation to the controversy in the
lead paragraph, but without presenting either issue in the
lead (Types II and III). For example:
One of the big political questions of 1954 how much should
the farmer be guaranteed for his products came up in Wash-
ington again today.
2. Total comprehension of issues was further increased
by following the neutral orientation lead with a paragraph
in which both sides were equally presented but without
the names associated with each side of the controversy
(Type III). For example:
There are two proposals: lowered, flexible price guarantees
or fixed, high guarantees of 90% or more.
The effects mentioned in (1) and (2) above were most
clearly demonstrated among the experimental subjects who
said they read newspapers only "occasionally" for news of
public affairs (as contrasted with subjects who said they
"always" read newspapers for news of public affairs.)
3. A neutral presentation of the controversy in the lead
with the issues divorced from names in the second para-


1. (







graph (Type III) tended to raise comprehension of related
arguments among readers who said they read newspapers
only "occasionally" for public affairs news. But the same
form (Type III) tended to lower comprehension of related
arguments among readers who said they "always" read
newspapers for news of public affairs.
The investigator speculates that comprehension of both
issues and related arguments by both types of readers might
be facilitated if the distinct and parallel presentation in
Types II and III were carried farther into the story. Then,
the form of the news story would be as follows:
One of the big political questions of 1954 how much
should the farmer be guaranteed for his products came up in
Washington again today.
There are two suggestions: flexible, lowered price guarantees
or fixed, high guarantees of 90% or more.
Agricultural Secretary Ezra Taft Benson gave two reasons
for a plan of flexible, lowered price supports:
They would bolster farmers' income through increased
consumption.
Prices would rise because of the administration's plan to
take 21 billion dollars of surpluses off the market.
Republican Senator Alexander Wiley, Wis., argued against
flexible supports, because, he said:
They do not take into consideration rising costs of farm
labor, seed and machinery.
They would bring on economic disaster.
This was a carefully controlled experiment. But a
description of the method is beyond.the scope of this sum-
mary.
(Richard F. Carter, "Writing Controversial Stories for
Comprehension," Journalism Quarterly, 32:319-328 Sum-
mer, 1955).







Chapter 9


EDITORIALS AND EDITORIAL POLICY

Some sociological and marketing studies suggest that
the editorial writer who is discussing an important and
complex subject and who wishes to maximize the influence
of his newspaper should write for the influentialss" rather
than for the great mass of his readers, and, therefore,
should not permit length to be a deterrent to his objective
("Word-of-Mouth Network and Editorials," p. 99).
The questions of how many people and what kind of
people write letters to the editor are partially answered in
three articles at pp. 102, 103.
The article at p. 104 summarizes studies in two commu-
nities that relate to readers' attitudes toward a newspaper's
endorsement of candidates and a newspaper's advice on
how to vote on issues ("Should a Newspaper Endorse a
Candidate?" p. 104).
The wire services supplied newspapers with testimony
in a sensational murder trial, reporting most of the intimate
details of a defendant's illicit relationship with the victim's
wife. Two University of Iowa faculty members presented
to a sample of readers 47 excerpts that pertained to sex,
obscenity and pathological detail and asked how offensive
the readers considered the expressions to be ("A Study in
Taste," p. 107).



WORD-OF-MOUTH NETWORK AND EDITORIALS
What happens after a reader has read a news story,
an editorial or an ad ?
In some instances, the reader talks about it to others
who have not read it. In other instances, he talks about it
to others who have read it.
In either situation, the opportunity exists for some-
body to get between the writer and some of the subscribers
and thereby reinforce the writer's thought or to change the
meaning that the writer intended to convey.
Social psychologists have studied what they call "in-
terpersonal communication" in connection with voting and
buying behavior. They have also studied it in connection
with the acceptance of innovations, such as the adoption
of new drugs by physicians and of new farm practices by
farmers.








For example, the doctors who were the early pre-
scribers of a certain new drug were those who exposed
themselves frequently to medical journals, who shared
their offices with several partners and who had a variety of
social and professional contacts with a large number of
colleagues. The doctors who began to prescribe the drug
much later were "isolated" doctors.
Some of these findings may have application to news-
papers. The news or editorial writer who thinks he is com-
municating to each reader separately and directly may
actually be talking to a word-of-mouth communication net-
work.
Some Buying Behavior
Word-of-mouth communication is an important influ-
ence in the sale of certain kinds of products. This was
demonstrated with respect to the purchase of room air con-
ditioning units by residents of Philadelphia row houses in a
study Fortune made in 1954.
The drawing on page 101 shows which houses in the
blocks (dark) had air conditioners. Most of the residents
were young white collar people in the $4,000-$7,500 income
bracket.
The pattern of purchase matches the social traffic of
the immediate neighborhood. That is, the air conditioners
were clustered up and down the sides of the blocks not
across the street. The social traffic crossed the alleys behind
the houses, but not the street.
It is in the alleys and in front of the homes that the
children play and the fathers and mothers sit and gossip;
and the children are not permitted to cross the street.
It is just as hot in one block as in another, but one
block has five times more conditioners than do some other
blocks in the immediate neighborhood.
The explanation, according to Fortune, is the "catalytic
leader." The initial purchaser talks about the benefits de-
rived from the new product and the children ask Mommy
"Why don't we have one ?"
Where, however, people are not exposed to much of this
talk, there is little reinforcement of the direct communica-
tion of the mass media (for example, a newspaper ad). Says
Fortune: "It is the group that determines when a luxury
becomes a necessity."
The "Influential" in the Group
A good many studies have been made of communica-
tion within the group both the organized and the in-
formal group. Some of the findings are these:
1. Certain people in a group are better informed than
are others in the group because they expose themselves




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