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The New York Times’ Nate Silver, in a post about that newspaper’s impending website paywall, created an interesting graphic listing the top 30 outlets that are most cited for their original reporting.
Most of the outlets are of the traditional print variety (wire services, newspapers, magazines) but a number of TV outlets also made the cut.
The top TV outlet (with an asterisk) was Bloomberg. While Bloomberg has a cable news channel in Bloomberg TV, it also has a magazine (Bloomberg Businessweek) and a wire service. Bloomberg placed fifth overall.
At number six was the BBC.
And what was the top asterisk-free U.S. organization?
That would be CNN, which placed eighth. Al Jazeera placed 11th overall, and ABC News placed 16th. Fox News placed 29th, while CBS News placed 28th.
One notable exemption was NBC News, and it isn’t clear whether the organization simply did not get the number of citations necessary to crack the top 30, or whether an oversight left the organization off the list.
In any case, Silver explains his methodology here:
The way I’ve determined to study this is pretty simple. I’ve tracked the number of times that the publication’s name has appeared in Google News and Google Blog Search over the past month, followed by the word “reported.” For instance, to track the number of citations for The Chicago Tribune, I’d look for instances of the phrase “Chicago Tribune reported.” (In some cases, I’ve permitted multiple search terms for the same news outlet — for example, both “BBC reported” and “BBC News reported.”)