Media Content Analysis Study, 1974 (ICPSR 7586)

Version Date: Feb 16, 1992 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Warren E. Miller; Arthur H. Miller; F. Gerald Kline

Version V1

This data collection contains an analysis of the contents of 96 of the daily newspapers read by nationally sampled respondents in AMERICAN NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY, 1974 (ICPSR 7355), conducted by the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan. Articles or graphics on the front and/or editorial pages of newspapers appearing on ten sampled dates before and immediately after the November 1974 congressional election were coded for this study. There are 8,768 cases of front page data and 9,504 cases of editorial page data. Each case is coded with a unit of analysis that could be any combination of story text, headline, sub-headline, label, photograph, and drawing or cartoon. Information collected about each case includes specific newspaper, date, page, type of story or photo, and source of item. In terms of content, both a first and a second problem are identified (specific problems are classified in several major categories, e.g., social welfare, agricultural, natural resources, labor union/management, racial, public order, economic and business, consumer protection, foreign affairs, national defense, government function, and Watergate) along with corresponding descriptive information in both their first and second mentions. Examples of such content description are level of problem (e.g., international with no United States connection explicit, international with United States connection explicit, national, state, and local), person or actor dimension (e.g., President Ford, specific political parties, Democratic and Republican Senate candidates, specific areas of government, specific government agencies and groups, and voters or taxpayers in general), position of person or actor, agreement or disagreement between persons or actors, the first and second mention of criticism or praise dimension, and object of criticism or praise. Additional data collected for this content analysis include keywords (referring to a major news event), proposal method (references to any proposed or enacted method, program, or policy to deal with governmental, political, or social problems in the United States), editorial endorsement of a candidate by the newspaper (coded in categories such as experience, leadership ability, personal qualities, party connection, government management, government philosophy, and domestic and foreign policies), references to Democratic and Republican senatorial races, and references to these specific events: the textbook struggle in West Virginia, busing in Boston, cattle killing, Nixon's resignation, Nixon's pardon, Nixon's illness, the mastectomies, Watergate trial, Kissinger's Moscow trip, United Nations World Food Conference, Arab and PLO summit conference, Rockefeller nomination, coal strike, and Patty Hearst.

Miller, Warren E., Miller, Arthur H., and Kline, F. Gerald. Media Content Analysis Study, 1974. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
Markle Foundation
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

(1) The file consists of two components: front page data (appearing first), and editorial page data (appearing thereafter). Front page data are indicated by unique case identification code values below 10,000. Editorial page data are indicated by unique case identification code values over 10,000. Within each component of the file, the cases appear in ascending order, sorted by newspaper identification code, date, and unit of analysis number. (2) Each newspaper's unique identification code enables a user to merge the data in this study with that of AMERICAN NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY, 1974 (ICPSR 7355). (3) The frequencies used in the text of the codebook were taken from the front page data. The frequencies addenda contain additional frequencies from the front page data portion, as well as frequencies for the editorial page data.

A network of correspondents in the primary sampling units (PSUs) of the 1974 election study collected 160 newspapers appearing on 16 days: October 2, 8, 12, 14, 16, 17, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, and November 1, 3, 4, 6, and 10, 1974. The 16 days were selected according to sampling procedures described in Carter, Roy E. Jr., and Robert L. Jones. "Some Procedures for Estimating 'News-Hole' in Content Analysis." PUBLIC OPINION QUARTERLY 23 3 (1959), 399-404. Of the newspapers collected, 96 were selected for coding, based on availability and readership by at least seven of the nationally-sampled respondents interviewed in the 1974 election study. Because insufficient funds were available, only 10 of the 16 days were eventually coded for this study (Saturdays were excluded).

The front page and editorial page contents of 96 daily newspapers published in the United States on October 16, 17, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, and November 1, 3, 4, 1974.

Associated Press (AP), United Press International (UPI), New York Times Wire Service, Chicago Daily News Service, Los Angeles Times/Washington Post Service, Foreign News Service, other news services, and letters to the editor in any of 96 United States daily newspapers

event/transaction data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Miller, Warren E., Arthur H. Miller, and F. Gerald Kline. Media Content Analysis Study, 1974. ICPSR07586-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1978.

1984-06-27 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
ICPSR logo

This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.