USA Today

COVERAGE of the SUPER BOWL & NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

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

USA TODAY PHOTOS of the SUPER BOWL*

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Overall the six outlets in the SportPix study gave the Super Bowl significantly more coverage than the NCAA Championship — except for USA Today.  Only USA Today — out of the other five:  Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated — ran more coverage of the college basketball championship game.

Still, USA Today did run extensive visual coverage of the Super Bowl,  illustrating its multiple stories with photos, as well as running slide shows, posting videos and creating graphics.  USA Today also posted images of the game to various social media outlets.

Overall, researchers pinned* 105 photos from the USA Today website the night of and day after the Super Bowl, and 199 photos and videos from the NCAA Championship game.    

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This picture was tweeted by USA Today during the Super Bowl celebrations. — USA Today

  • While a majority of USA Today‘s general coverage of the Super Bowl, featured the Baltimore Ravens, researchers found that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick appeared the most frequently of any figure at the game (including Beyoncé).

(Click here and here to see USA Today’s photos that researchers pinned to Pinterest.)


USA TODAY’s PHOTOS of the NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP*

While USA Today’s visual coverage of the NCAA final was almost double that of its coverage of the Super Bowl, the paper focused its coverage primarily on its website, USAToday.com.  The NCAA coverage lacked the extensive social media attention that researchers noted for the Super Bowl.

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This image of  Bluejays guard Jahenns Manigat pulling his jersey over his head after losing to the Duke Blue Devils was one of many images highlighted in USA Today‘s “March Sadness” gallery. — USA Today

  • Researchers also observed that the coverage that appeared for the final game did not focus solely on the championship match.  Half of the images appeared in galleries exploring the entire March Madness tournament.
  • While most news outlets chose to feature the winning teams and the MVPs, Researchers noted that USA Today’s coverage of March Madness included more negative images than other news outlets because of its photo gallery “March Sadness” which highlighted upsets throughout the games.
  • More than 20% of the images from the NCAA championship game were of Louisville’s injured Kevin Ware.  While other news outlets ran photos of Ware, the fact that Ware was not playing in the final tempered most outlets’ coverage of him; most other outlets — such as NBC — favored coverage of active players, such as Louisville’s Peyton Siva.

(Click here to see USA Today photos that researchers pinned to Pinterest.)

These images from USA Today are a sampling of its photo coverage of the Super Bowl and the NCAA Championship game. Clicking a photo links to the Pinterest board of that photo.

Focus of USA Today’s Photo Coverage during the Super Bowl and NCAA Championship

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While USA Today ran multiple photos of Beyoncé and the halftime show, it ran far more of Ravens’ post-game celebrations. — Getty Images

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USA Today ran this image of Kevin Ware  in a gallery highlighting his attendance throughout the NCAA tournament. — USA Today

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SUPER BOWL:  USA Today’ ran almost as many images of the Ravens’ post game celebration as it did of the players on the field.

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NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP:  Researchers coded a large majority of USA Today’s photos as “other” because USA Today ran so many photos of the previous games in the March Madness series.


PINTERESTResearchers found USA Today to be a mostly “pin-able” website; all gallery photos and photos illustrating news and feature stories could be easily pinned, yet not all videos on the site could be.  Researchers discovered that those videos they could pin appeared on USA Today‘s site via a screenshot, rather then solely through an embed.

CONTEXT:   USA Today was founded by Al Neuharth to provide a general-interest national newspaper in the US market. First published on September 15, 1982, it appears Monday through Friday with a weekly USA Weekend edition.  Initially parodied as “McPaper” because of its short articles illustrated with color photos and graphics, the paper now has the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States.  Owned by the Gannett Company, a publicly-traded media holding company, USA Today is headquartered outside of Washington, DC, in Fairfax County, Virginia.


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
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