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Targeting for the Time-Cross Project:
December 2016 Events Covered in the News as of 31 December 2016:

The targets for this project are the most newsworthy events of the month, as determined by the rules of the project and the table below that contains a pool of potential targets. (See also this Theory video.) These are news events that are major headline items occurring in the month. In most cells, there are two numerical entries separated by a slash (/). The first is the number of news cycle days in which the event was featured on the main page of the news outlets. This number estimates the longevity of the story, implying that stories that last longer on the main page of a news outlet relate to more important events. The second number (following the slash) is the cumulative number of links on the main headline page for the news outlets that connect stories related to each event. This second number estimates the breadth of the new coverage for each event, implying that events that spawn more stories and links on the main page is are more important events. When only one number is included in a cell, that number is the total number of links only.

Event Reporting Date Events CNN US CNN International New York Times BBC Total
Links
All of December Middle East wars (Iraq and Syria) 8/16 12/25 11/26 16/69

136

2 December 2016 Donald Trump calls Taiwan's President 1/7 4/22 4/8 3/10 47
3 December 2016 "Ghost Ship" Warehouse fire in Oakland, California 3/11 2/2 4/8 2/4 25
3 December 2016 Protests against South Korean president 1/1 1/1     2
4 December 2016 Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announces his impending resignation after loss of vote on Italian constitution 1/1 2/6 1/2 2/8 17
4 December 2016 Standing Rock protesters win (for now) against proposed pipeline 1/2 1/2   1/4 8
9 December 2016 Probe launched into possible Russian hacking relating to U.S. elections 5/15 3/22 9/24 7/22 83
9 December 2016 South Korea National Assembly votes to impeach President Park Geun-hye   1/1 1/1 2/2 4
10 December 2016 Two bombs rock Istanbul, Turkey. 2/3 2/6   1/4 13
16 December 2016 Sheriff Joe Arpaio renews birther claims about Obama's birth certificate (This has not yet been reported by our normal outlets, but it is getting significant coverage in other news outlets.)          
17 December 2016 Political protest break out in Poland   1/1   1/1 2
19 December 2016 Russian ambassador killed in Turkey 3/10 3/11 1/2 2/8 31
19 December 2016 Berlin terror attack as truck crashes into market 3/4 8/16 4/14 5/16 50
20 December 2016 Explosion at fireworks market in Tultepec, Mexico 2/6 2/6   1/4 16
25 December 2016 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes off coast of Chile 1/1 1/2     3
25 December 2016 Typhoon Nock-ten hits Philippines 1/1 1/1     2
27 December 2016 Carrie Fisher dies. 2/14 2/9 4/19 3/8 50
27 December 2016 Trump Tower evacuated due to an abandoned backpack. Rescue personnel and equipment dispatched to the scene. (This was not widely reported on the main pages of our surveyed news venues.)          
28 December 2016 Debbie Reynolds dies. 1/7 1/2 3/13 2/5 27

NOTE 1: The wars in Syria and Iraq will be combined when counting total links in the final analysis since they are both in the same region and focused on fighting ISIS.

NOTE 2: The numbers in the above table are subject to ongoing audits throughout the month. At the end of the month, a final audit is performed based on screen shots of the web pages for all four news outlets. Errors in the table are corrected both during the month and as a result of the final audit.

To be listed in the above table, the events must have the following characteristics.

  1. The event should involve significant physical activity by objects and subjects.
  2. The event should involve something unexpected or unscheduled.
  3. The target events will typically be a leading headline news story that is featured on prominent web sites, such as CNN (U.S. and International), The New York Times, and the BBC. Other stories covered in other news outlets are linked in the news analysis table for each month. That means that the story appears somewhere on the main news page of the news outlet, usually in the top section of the web page where headline stories are posted. (Stories for most major events change daily. Some links to more dated events remain unchanged in content and format on the web site for longer periods, and such links are often located further down the web page. These are called "residual links" and are not considered headline news stories unless the linked articles/stories are updated.)
  4. The event should involve more than one daily news cycle for the month, preferably with numerous and related stories.
  5. The target must be of significant public interest.
  6. The target must be of international interest, as evidenced by being covered as a headline event on both the U.S. and International editions of CNN.
  7. If there is more than one major news event that satisfies the above criteria for a given month, then the event (or category of events) that involves that largest number of daily news cycles with the largest number of cumulative links will be the target. The total number of cumulative links will be the dominating and deciding factor when there are multiple events that cover a number of daily news cycles.
  8. If a significant event occurs near the end of the month, then the counting of news cycles and cumulative links can extend into the next month until the event fades from the headline pages so as to fully evaluate the importance of the event. Rarely does a news story remain on the main page of a news outlet for more than a week.
  9. If two or more events of a similar nature and/or cause occur on different dates of the month, then the target would be the combination of the two events. For example (obviously fictional in this case), if the Moon disappears into another dimension on two different dates during the same month, then the target would be the general or combined disappearance of the Moon during that month. Examples of types of events that would be combined within the same month are (a) scattered fires that are part of a larger area that is aflame, such as scattered statewide California wildfires, (b) terror events caused or inspired by the same group in a larger campaign, (c) wartime events from a larger military engagement, such as various elements of the Normandy Invasion of World War II, (d) multiple large political gatherings (including demonstrations) with similar characteristics, (e) weather related events that are the result of the same general weather condition.
  10. The news analysis that determines the target event uses a weighted pool of potential targets. The viewers are expected to perceive one or more of the targets that are highly weighted in the target pool for each month. Whether or not there is a single target or multiple targets for a given month is related to the weighting that occurs within the target pool. This can be complicated, and the audience is encouraged to watch the "Theory" and "Overview" videos relating to this project.

Here are some useful web sites:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016

http://www.mapsofworld.com/calendar-events/

BBC

The New York Times

CNN US

CNN International