San Francisco Chronicle

COVERAGE of the SUPER BOWL 

This page provides a summary of research results for the San Francisco Chronicle’s photographic coverage of the 2013 Super Bowl and the final game of the NCAA March Madness tournament.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (SFGate.com) PHOTOS of the SUPER BOWL*

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During the 2013 Super Bowl, SFGate.com, the web version of the San Francisco Chronicle, the home town paper for the losing 49ers, ran extensive coverage of the event — unsurprisingly focusing on their team’s performance in the game, their own fans, and Beyoncé’s halftime show, and only minimally covering the post-game.

Overall, researchers pinned* 274 photos and videos from SFGate.com the night of and day after the Super Bowl.  A large portion of their photos that researchers found came from wires services such as Associated Press and Getty Images, but SFGate.com also published images from their own photographers.

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As the home newspaper of the San Francisco 49ers, the San Francisco Chronicle — as expected — photographed the 49ers more than the Baltimore Ravens. — The Chronicle

  • SFGate.com had the second highest number of fan photos of all the media outlets — but the photos only featured 49ers fans. 
  • Colin Kaepernick appeared in more photos than any other player or individual, appearing in almost 20% of all (captioned) imagesBeyonce came in a close second — she appeared in about 16% of the photos.Puppy bowl
  • Emotionally limited by being the losing team’s hometown web outlet,  SFGate.com turned to covering other events beyond the game and the post-game award ceremony.  SFGate.com ran the highest number of blackout photos of any news outlet and was the only media outlet to cover the audience-pleasing Puppy Bowl, acquiring images from Animal Planet.
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The San Francisco Chronicle exclusively featured 49ers fans within their fan photos. — The Chronicle/Lacy Atkins

(Click here to see SFGate.com’s photos that researchers pinned to Pinterest.)

These images from the SFGate.com/San Francisco Chronicle are a sampling of its photo coverage of the Super Bowl. Clicking a photo links to the Pinterest board of that photo.

Focus of the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Photo Coverage during the Super Bowl

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The majority of San Francisco Chronicle‘s photos focused on the actual game play.

  • Researchers noted that unlike most other news outlets, SFGate.com‘s photographic coverage ranged relatively evenly across all topics.  While the Chronicle gave more attention to the action on the field, it published substantial coverage of the fans, the blackout and the halftime show, as well as such crowd-pleasing events as the “Puppy Bowl,”  an annual Animal Planet series that airs on Super Bowl Sunday, featuring “color commentary” on puppies’ antics and information about how viewers can adopt animals from their local shelters.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle is the home newspaper of the San Francisco 49ers, which accounts for the large number of fan photos on SFGate.com that exclusively showed 49ers fans.

PINTEREST:  Researchers found SFGate.com to be a fairly “pin-able” website; photos from the the site’s pages and slideshows could be pinned. The Super Bowl videos posted on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website featuring game footage could also be pinned, while those featuring Super Bowl commercials were unable to be pinned by researchers, which may not have given viewers of SFGate.com the full Super Bowl experience via Pinterest. Therefore, those pictures viewed on the Pinterest site were only a majority of the pictures originally viewed on  SFGate.com, but not the full set.

CONTEXT: The San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 and is distributed throughout Northern and Central California, primarily serving the San Francisco Bay Area. Owned by the Hearst Corporation since 2000, it has decreased in popularity and circulation  has dramatically in the 21st century. The online version of the paper is called SFGate.com.


* NB: Researchers applied the same collection methodology for all the news outlets studied. It is likely that the researchers on this survey did not collect every photograph published, and, on occasion, certain photographs that could be viewed were not collectible by Pinterest. The total number of photographs studied, therefore, should be understood to be representative of those published on the news outlets, not an absolute set of all photographs published on all sites.
It is fair to note, however, that the number of photographs of either game collected for any given site is a rough indication of the commitment of that site to photographically covering that specific game.