What if the rankers ranked newspapers?

Washington Post
“Lots of people rank colleges these days, and most of the rankers are in the news business,” notes Daniel de Vise. They practice what many believe is “an arbitrary, empty exercise in statistical ma­nipu­la­tion that panders to the worst sort of list-making impulses.” What if someone ranked newspapers the same way? De Vise does that, considering journalistic pedigree, popularity and some measure of Internet savvy in putting together his list. (He gives Pulitzers twice the weight of the other measures, “because they are presumably the most direct measure of quality.”) His top-ten:

1. New York Times, with 38 points

2. Washington Post, 28

3. Los Angeles Times, 27

4. Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times, 22

5. Denver Post, 18

6. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and New York Daily News, 12 points each

8. Chicago Tribune and Newsday, with 9 points each

10. Dallas Morning News, 8

“Are these the best newspapers in America?” asks de Vise. “Probably not. I can’t defend my math. The criteria I chose were sadly limited, based on what I could find online. In short, it’s a fairly typical best-of list.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504633504 Dan Mitchell

    Do you also use the word “Rethuglicans” in comments sections across the Internet. I’m no huge fan of Poynter, lord knows, but jeez, give it a rest. Or at least make some kind of concrete point about why you don’t like Poynter. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JI2MBY6SYRL5BH6QMLJKRMGURI N.

    Oh, and so we should also be saying who owns the other papers as well? Nelson meant well, and certainly was prescient in protecting the paper from corporate predators by setting up a foundation, but the Pointless Institute as a journalistic think tank is a joke that bleeds resources from the newspaper — and everyone knows it. 

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    @yahoo-JI2MBY6SYRL5BH6QMLJKRMGURI:disqus , the purpose of “Poynter’s” is to disclose that the Poynter Institute owns the St. Petersburg Times. That has been our standard practice for some time.
    Steve Myers

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JI2MBY6SYRL5BH6QMLJKRMGURI N.

    Now it’s “Poynter’s St. Petersburg Times,” is it, and just because old Nelson left all the dough to the Pointless Institute?

  • Anonymous

    Okay, but the ones Americans actually read and take seriously are The Economist and The Guardian.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504633504 Dan Mitchell

    Ah. I should take my own advice and read the linked article before commenting. He explains the WSJ’s absence. And the whole thing is kind of a joke on his part, really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504633504 Dan Mitchell

    Indeed, my first thought.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504633504 Dan Mitchell

    Hey, that list from 1986 is really great!

  • Anonymous

    C’mon. No Top 10 list is serious without the Wall Street Journal.