The impact of Columbia’s 1968 protests was felt far beyond Morningside Heights, especially at its peer universities. To understand how other universities saw, understood, and talked about the events on campus, The Eye analyzed Ivy League student newspapers’ coverage of the demonstrations over the week of the protests. Dartmouth, which does not maintain an online newspaper archive, is the only Ivy not included. Scroll to read on!
The Brown Daily Herald published five articles about the protests, three of which were on the front page.
The Cornell Daily Sun published 13 articles about the protests, five of which were on the front page.
The Harvard Crimson published six articles about the protests. Front-page data is unavailable.
The Daily Pennsylvanian published six articles about the protests, two of which were on the front page.
The Daily Princetonian published 16 articles about the protests, eight of which appeared on the front page.
The Yale Daily News published six articles about the protests, two of which were on the front page.
Through computer-based sentiment analysis, we estimated that published articles were on average slightly more objective than subjective. Most of the articles seemed to be written
by newspaper staff—of the 52 articles we read, only six were clearly written by others. However, in 25 of the articles, the author’s name was not listed. All named authors were male, with James being the most common name among them.
STORIES AND DESIGN by Janie Haseman and Isabel Wong
READ MORE ON THE EYE
Princeton and Cornell wrote the most about the Columbia protests, with 4,950 words from The Cornell Daily Sun and a whopping 7,135 words penned in the Daily Princetonian. Overall coverage was minimal when the likelihood of police action sharply increased.
The most common words of the protest coverage are to be expected—“students” in the plural and the singular, Columbia, and university take the top spots. However, mentions of police action, faculty involvement, and then-University President Grayson Kirk were also prevalent.
Campus and building details and and the greater University administration were widely written about, as well.
To find out how different campus publications diverged in coverage, we took the top 50 words each of them used in their reporting. We’ve included, for each publication, any of those 50 words which did not appear in the top 50 of any of the others.
CONTINUED ON PAGE FOUR
The Brown Daily Herald shared the fewest of its top 50 words with other papers; The Harvard Crimson shared all but five of its top 50 words with those of at least one other publication. Below are the top five unique frequent words for each newspaper; you can find the rest on our GitHub.
Some of the most interesting least commonly used words we found? Our favorites included “paddy wagons,” “squirming,” “ultimatums,” “havoc,” and “wanton.” For more interesting words, check out the data behind this piece.