Day of the Tiger: How Newspapers, Networks, and News Aggregators Played Tiger Woods on Friday

On Friday, golfer Tiger Woods held a TV appearance to talk about life after marital problems. At around 2:30 p.m., I screen capped some of the websites for some of the largest news organizations and aggregators. Today, I looked at the screen-caps, cropped them to the top 1600 pixels, and marked in green the areas of the pages devoted to Woods coverage (or related coverage, such as “Slideshow: Top 10 Adultery Confessions).

It was a slow news day. Any controversial government news is usually released in the late afternoon (This time, it was the Dept. of Justice’s decision to not punish Bush administration lawyers for their memos on “enhanced” interrogation). The other top American news that day were follow-ups on Joe Stack, the man who crashed his plane into the IRS, the Winter Olympics, and devlopments in the Afghanistan war. Still, it’s interesting to see what the non-Tiger-watching organizations put on their front pages. Click on the images below to see a larger version.

U.S. Newspapers and Magazines

Associated Press
Associated Press
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
New York Times
McClatchy
McClatchy
Newsweek
Newsweek
New York Post
New York Post
USA Today
USA Today
Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post
Washington Post
TIME
TIME

U.S. Broadcast

ABC News
ABC News
CBS News
CBS News
MSNBC
MSNBC
NPR
NPR
CNN
CNN
FOX News
FOX News

Europe

BBC
BBC
Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
Financial Times
Financial Times
Times of London
Times of London
The Sun
The Sun

Asia

People's Daily
People’s Daily
Shanghai Daily
Shanghai Daily
Times of India
Times of India
Yomiuri
Yomiuri

*Not in English, so it could all be about Woods for all I know

News Aggregators

Drudge Report
Drudge Report
Huffington Post
Huffington Post

Social/Computerized News Aggregators

Digg Top News
Digg Top News
Google News
Google News
Reddit News
Reddit News

Even three hours after what was generally considered a highly-scripted 15 minutes of non-revelations (the Golf Writers Association of America boycotted it), Woods pretty much dominated the most visible spaces on general news websites. Of the major American news organizations, CNN probably had the most real estate devoted to Tiger; New York Times, the least. Both Drudge Report and Huffington Post had Woods as the lede. Asian publications (the few that I could read) gave little space.

Among social/computerized news aggregators, Google News gave Woods front placement…unsurprising considering its algorithm is driven by what news organizations have. Neither Reddit and Digg had any mention of it in their news sub-sections. This may be a little unfair, as these sites’ users may be me more strict in keeping all sports-related news strictly in their sports subsections. But I did check their frontpages (which are the top stories from all the major sections) and Tiger didn’t make an appearance. Also, for many of the other sites, Tiger stories were not always in the top 5 most read…then, or a day later. Maybe everyone watched it on TV and decided they didn’t need to read it online? Or maybe there’s an overestimation of the general interest in Tiger news that doesn’t involve new mistresses’ names or him retiring from the sport?

I'm a programmer, data journalist, and photographer in New York City. I'm the author of three in-progress books: The Bastards Books of Ruby, Photography, and Regular Expressions.