One Headline To Rule Them All

One Headline To Rule Them All

News publications each have their own voice, style and structure. Their own unique means of passing information on to their readership. The Sun (UK), for example, provides a lowdown of all things sport, showbiz, lifestyle and gossip. They often rely on eye-catching ‘kickers’ to hook readers in, not holding back on the more explicit stories, flashy article headlines, with a lot of melodrama thrown in too. The pinnacle of all things tabloid.


In contrast, The Independent (UK) is largely regarded as a more ‘intellectual alternative’. Once a broadsheet, this newspaper covers culture, sport, politics and general news.

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And so comes the question – is it possible to epitomise a news publication using a single headline?

Doxdirect, an online printing company, were intrigued by this question, so launched a thorough investigation which involved analysing over 100,000 article pages of various UK news publications in order to discover which words/topics appear the most in their article headlines, subheadings, kickers and captions. Doing this would shed some light on the stories these publications cover the most – is The Sun preoccupied with sex? Is The Independent as overtly ‘intellectual’ as people believe?

The final list of publications we prepped for analysis were the following, covering a range of different online formats:

  • Business Insider [website]
  • Cosmopolitan [magazine]
  • Daily Mail [tabloid]
  • The Guardian [newspaper]
  • The Independent [