Optimism on Thanksgiving? Compare the Washington Post and Washington Times

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The Thanksgiving 2015 editions of both the Washington Post and the Washington Times covered some of the same traditional territory that all national papers seem inclined to cover.  Two examples are Obama’s turkey pardoning and holiday traveling.  Beyond that though, there’s a glaring difference in the tone and content of each paper’s coverage of this uniquely American holiday.

Below are the Thanksgiving-related articles from 11/26/15.  A few more in the Times than the Post, which might not be startling.  But in addition to having more content, there’s a decidedly brighter tone to the Times’ articles as a whole.  Each Thanksgiving article listed in this table is highlighted in green if it had a positive, optimistic or heartwarming emphasis.  It’s clear at a glance that the Times provided its readers with words of encouragement far beyond those of the Post.  Also of note is the size difference in both papers; 54 pages vs 26.

In 54 pages the Post put a positive touch to only four of its articles related to Thanksgiving.  Over three times the number of articles in the Times were positive (13) in a paper that was less than half the size. 

Post Times Table

All of this may be of no interest, but clearly one paper lives by the motto that “bad news sells” and hence not much room left for positive and uplifting content.  If you want positive, you can always check out the Post’s  horoscopes.

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