Journalisted Yearly 2013 – Scandals, Scares and Sidebar Staples

23 12 2013

JournalistedJournalisted is run by the Media Standards Trust. It collects information automatically from the websites of British news outlets. Articles are indexed by journalist, based on the byline to the article. Keywords and statistics are automatically generated, and the site searches for any blogs or social bookmarking sites linking to each article.

Covered lots this year

  • Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA and GCHQ (7109 articles) dominated national papers from June onwards.
  • Royal Mail privatisation (3438 articles). After the flotation on the Stock Exchange share prices increased by 38 per cent, which prompted commentators to suggest that the company had been undervalued.
  • Fusilier Lee Rigby died in Woolwich after an extremely violent and public attack. The trial for his murder is ongoing (2463 articles).
  • Pope Benedict XVI resigned his office in March and was replaced by Pope Francis I (1533 articles).
  • The alleged use of the nerve gas, Sarin, by Syrian Government forces almost led to Western military intervention in the Syrian Civil War (990 articles).

Covered little this year

  • Over 5700 civilians were killed in Iraq from January to September in bomb attacks as the country remains unstable (489 articles).
  • The collapse of the Rana Plaza building, a garment factory in Bangladesh, killed 1129 workers – one of the worst industrial accidents in history (353 articles).
  • Unrest in Yemen has claimed the lives of hundreds. 52 were killed in a suicide bomb attack in December (183 articles).
  • Teenage pregnancy in the UK, which has fallen to its lowest level since 1969, and by 12.5% from 2011-2012 (155 articles) (Figures from the FPA).
  • Flooding in Uttarakhand in North India killed over 5000 people and left thousands more displaced (54 articles).

Scandals and scares

  • Food sold in a number of major UK supermarkets were found to contain horsemeat after DNA tests (1848 articles).
  • The ‘crystal methodist’ – Reverend Paul Flowers, former chairman of The Co-operative Bank – was embroiled in an unlikely drugs and sex scandal in November (64 articles).
  • House prices continued to increase in 2013 (3952 articles), amid concern over a possible housing bubble (1067 articles).
  • The false widow spider, or ‘steatoda nobilis’, was reported to extremely dangerous and on the increase in the UK (32 articles).
  • Cycling deaths in London made headlines after six people died on the roads in two weeks (2309 articles).

Top 15 most covered UK politicians

  1. David Cameron (22717 articles) – 1st last year
  2. George Osborne (9853) – 2nd last year
  3. Ed Miliband (8174) – 3rd last year
  4. Nick Clegg (5970) – 4th last year
  5. Tony Blair (4773) – 6th last year
  6. Boris Johnson (3756) – 5th last year
  7. Michael Gove (3277) – 8th last year
  8. William Hague (3069) – 11th last year
  9. Theresa May (3068) – 10th last year
  10. Alex Salmond (3006) – 13th last year
  11. Vince Cable (2926) – 7th last year
  12. Gordon Brown (2849) – 9th last year
  13. Ed Balls (2804) – 14th last year
  14. Nigel Farage (2328) – below 15th last year
  15. Jeremy Hunt (2075) – 12th last year

Top 10 international politicians

  1. Barack Obama (9215 articles) – 1st last year
  2. Vladimir Putin (2767) – 5th last year
  3. Bashar Al-Assad (2278) – below 10th last year
  4. Angela Merkel (2239) – 3rd last year
  5. Silvio Berlusconi (1342) – below 10th last year
  6. Mohamed Morsi (1196) – below 10th last year
  7. Hillary Clinton (1718) – below 10th last year
  8. Tony Abbott (1118) – below 10th last year
  9. Hosni Mubarak (941) – below 10th last year
  10. Kim Jong-Un (888) – below 10th last year

Terrorist groups (proscribed by the Home Office)

  1. Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaida (6449 articles – 5428 last year)
  2. IRA (1607 articles – 474 last year)
  3. Al-Shabaab (911 articles – 113 last year)
  4. Hezbollah (892 articles – 293 last year)
  5. Hamas (600 articles – 982 last year)
  6. Boko Haram (331 articles – 75 last year)

Twerking, Selfies, and Bitcoins

  • Twerking’ became very popular, especially after Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance (5513 articles).
  • The ‘Harlem Shake’ Youtube phenomenon had more newspaper coverage than 2012’s ‘Gangnam Style’ (986 articles compared to 429 articles).
  • Everyone was taking ‘selfies’ in 2013 – even David Cameron, Ed Miliband, and Pope Francis (2141 articles).
  • The selfie-sharing app Snapchat gained media attention this year (268 articles).
  • Bitcoins, the online currency, received over half as many mentions in the press as the Chinese currency, the Yuan (780 and 1410 articles respectively).

Sidebar staples

This story deserves a special mention for managing to fit in three of the above phrases into the headline.


  • Kate Middleton (1395 articles) gave birth to Prince George (1483). This probably accounts for the unprecedented coverage of ‘baby bumps’ (4282 articles) and ‘post-baby body’ (226 articles).
  • Kim Kardashian (2933 articles) and Kanye West (3576 articles) had a baby named ‘North West’.
  • Lily Allen (1034 articles) and Sam Cooper had a baby girl named Marie Rose in January.
  • Kate Winslet (545 articles) and Ned Rockwell had a baby boy in December.
  • Tian Tian, the giant panda at Edinburgh Zoo, miscarried in October (188 articles).

Marriages and splits


  1. Margaret Thatcher (7748 articles)
  2. Nelson Mandela (3744 articles)
  3. James Gandolfini (1547 articles)
  4. Cory Monteith (863 articles)
  5. David Frost (723 articles)
  6. Hugo Chavez (623 articles)
  7. Iain Banks (422 articles)
  8. Lou Reed (342 articles)
  9. Doris Lessing (238 articles)
  10. Paul Walker (232 articles)

Celeb vs serious

Most written about sports personalities

  1. Andy Murray (9634 articles)
  2. David Moyes (8503 articles)
  3. Alex Ferguson (8091 articles)
  4. Wayne Rooney (7600 articles)
  5. Gareth Bale (7401 articles)
  6. Jose Mourinho (6791 articles)
  7. Mesut Ozil (2561 articles)
  8. Mo Farah (2349 articles)
  9. Stuart Broad (1993 articles)
  10. Oscar Pistorius (1752 articles)

In-depth stories

  1. ‘Delhi Rape: how India’s other half lives’ – Jason Burke, Guardian (7085 words)
  2. ‘The Royal Wave’ – Rebecca English and Martin Robinson, Mail Online (6926 words)
  3. Nelson Mandela obituary – David Beresford, Guardian (6696 words)
  4. ‘Marwa’s story’ – Kevin Connolly, BBC News (6516 words)
  5. ‘”Born Rich”… and now richer’ – Helen Pow, Mail Online (6504 words)
  6. ‘What’s wrong with the modern world’ – Jonathan Franzen, Guardian (6462 words)
  7. Margaret Thatcher obituary – Andy McSmith, The Independent (5892 words)
  8. ‘Nicky Crane: The secret double life of a gay neo-Nazi’ – Jon Kelly, BBC News Magazine (6475 words)
  9. ‘Security alert: notes from the frontline of the war in cyberspace’ – Jon Ronson, The Guardian (5876 words)
  10. ‘”The under-25s should NOT get the dole”: Cameron says all school leavers should be earning or learning…’ – Matt Chorley, Mail Online (5174 words)

Do email if you spot any mistakes or have suggestions for other journalisted weekly analyses. You can also follow us on Twitter @journalisted

Statistics for this journalisted yearly are calculated based on articles published between 01-01-13 and 13-12-12 on national news websites, BBC News online, and Sky News online.

The Media Standards Trust, which runs Journalisted, also runs, and

The Orwell Prize 2014, administered by the Media Standards Trust on behalf of the Orwell Council, is open for entries. The closing date for entries is 15 January 2014.



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