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Cross-Tabulation and the News Coverage Index (2012): The Geographic Focus of TV News Stories

By: The Odum Institute Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Datasets
Methods: Cross-tabulation
Data Type: Numeric
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This dataset example describes a cross-tabulation between two categorical variables. Cross-tabulation allows researchers to compare the distribution of two categorical variables together rather than having to examine their frequency distributions separately. Thus cross-tabulation builds directly on single-variable frequency distributions. Cross-tabulation is most often used to explore whether there is an association between two variables. This example uses a subset of data from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism News Coverage Index for 2012. Specifically, it presents a cross-tabulation between the geographic focus of a TV news story and whether the story aired on a network or a cable TV news show. Understanding the potential relationship between the focus of news stories and where they are aired can help researchers understand market strategies ...

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About This Dataset
Data Source Citation

Pew Research Center. (2012). 2012 Project for Excellence in Journalism News Coverage Index [Data file]. Retrieved from

Full title of originating dataset

2012 Project for Excellence in Journalism News Coverage Index (NCI)

Data author(s) and affiliations

Pew Research Center

Data Universe

American news stories from newspapers, online news sources, network television, cable news, and radio news

Funding sources/suppliers

Pew Research Center

Pew Research bears no responsibility for interpretations presented or conclusions reached based on analysis of the data

Sample/sampling procedures

A multistage, purposive sampling process of media outlets was employed to provide a broad, illustrative but not strictly representative sample of the media universe.


Weights for news sources: Newspapers (0.19), Online (0.30), Network TV (0.15), Cable TV (0.23), Radio (0.12)

Data collection dates

01-2012 to 05-2012

Time frame of analysis


Unit of analysis

Text Unit

Location covered by data

United States

Links to SRM content
List of variables


Broadcast Start Time


Duration in Seconds




Story Format


Geographic Focus




Media Type