Item for media analysis

Metric name Item for media analysis
Standards area Traditional media measurementSocial media measurement
Metric description and application The item for media analysis is “a manifest unit of analysis used in content analysis consisting an entire message itself (e.g., an advertisement, story, press release)” (Stacks, 2006). This would also apply to broadcast segments, blog posts, comments on blog posts, discussion board posts, forum posts, tweets, videos, and any other piece of communications content.
Status Interim Standard
Version, date, and author Version 1.0Last updated by on Nov. 2, 2012
Standard or guideline Standard
Metric type Output
Detailed description.This is the actual standard, and must include full description of how to use this metrics. An Item for Media Analysis includes any of the following:

  • Article in print media (e.g. New York Times)
  • News wire stories from organizations such as Dow Jones, Reuters, Associated Press, and AFX. In addition to counting as an item for the news wire, each media outlet running the story counts as a separate item or ‘hit’ because it has different readership. If the wire story is updated multiple times in one day, only count the story once in a 24-hour period using the latest, most updated version.
  • Article in the online version of print media (e.g. An article appearing in both the online and print versions of a media outlet should both be counted because the readership is different for each channel.
  • Article in an online publication (
  • Broadcast segment (TV or radio). In the case of a broadcast segment that repeats during the day, each segment should be counted as an item because audiences change during the day. For example, a story broadcast at 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM on cable TV news counts as three items.
  • News item on the web site of a broadcast channel or station.
  • Blog post (e.g. ,WSJ health blog,
  • Analyst report.
  • Microblog post, e.g., a Tweet.
  • Post to a forum or discussion group.
  • Video segment on YouTube or other video sharing sites.
  • Photo on a photo sharing site.
  • Comment on a blog post, online news story, or other online item.
  • Reprints or syndication. Each appearance counts as a hit because they appear in unique, individual media titles with different readerships.
  • Company bylined features count as an article.
The following are examples of documents and texts that should not be considered as items for media analysis:n  Press release pickups generated through ‘controlled vehicles’ such as posting a story on PR Newswire or Business Newswire.
Source documents “Proposed Interim Standards for Metrics in Traditional Media Analysis: Discussion Document – Version 1.0,” by Marianne Eisenmann, David Geddes, Ph.D., Katie Paine, Ruth Pestana, Frank Walton, Ph.D., Mark Weiner , June 7, 2012. Available at:
Academic research supporting this standard. Klaus H. Krippendorff. (2012). Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology, 3nd edition. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA.  See Chapter 5: Unitizing.
Validity and reliability of the standard. This should reference formal, preferably published, research demonstrating the validity and reliability of the metric, or, in the absence of such research, the kind of research that should be conducted. Marianne Eisenmann and Julie O’Neal are beginning a test of validity and reliability for unitizing items of media analysis.
Team lead and contact information Marianne Eisenmann: Chandler Chicco, CPRF, AMEC, and IPR Measurement

PDF: Standards Traditional Media – Item for Media Analysis

Posted in [Research Library], 6. Traditional Media Measurement, Research Methods / Standards and tagged .

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