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Targeting for the Time-Cross Project:
January 2017 Events Covered in the News as of 31 January 2017:

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
All of January 2017 Middle East wars (Iraq and Syria) 1/1 1/1 1/3 4/10 15
1 January 2017 Istanbul nightclub terror attack 2/2 3/9 2/4 2/11 26
1 January 2017 1,100 migrants storm Spanish border enclave of Ceuta       1/3 3
4 January 2017 Queen Elizabeth nearly shot by a palace guard while wandering around palace at 3 a.m. (This story was not immediately covered by our featured news outlets. But here are two links to other outlets that covered the story: Daily Mail and MSM.   2/2     2
5 January 2017 Rioting and looting in Mexico due to gas price increases 1/1 1/2     3
6 January 2017 Shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport, 5 dead, others wounded 3/8 3/13 3/6 2/5


6 January 2017 Winter storm Helena hits the U.S. 2/2       2
10 January 2017 7.3 magnitude undersea earthquake hits Phillippines near island of Jolo. This event was not covered by our featured news outlets. But it was covered by a number of alternative news outlets. (Mirror)          
All of January 2017 Record rain and snow essentially end the severe drought in California. Flooding and record snow packs, state of emergency in many (over 20) towns and counties. This story is not being reported in our featured news outlets. But here are some links to alternative outlets covering the story. Wall Street Journal, SF Curbed,,,          
17 January 2017 Chelsea Manning sentence commuted by President Obama 1/3 2/7 2/3 2/6 19
19 January 2017 B-2 Bombers bomb ISIS in Libya in the desert, the bombers first combat since 2011 (CNN) 1/1 2/4 1/1   6
19 January 2017 El Chapo extradited to the U.S. from Mexico 2/6 2/3 2/2 1/2 13
mid-January 2017 A series of avalanches bury houses and a hotel in central Italy (This ongoing story has been heavily covered in alternative news outlets. The Guardian, Washington Post)   2/4   3/7 11
21 January 2017 Worldwide mass protests against Trump presidency begin, many featuring a women's rights theme.* 2/14 2/16 3/20 1/9 59*
25 January 2017 Mary Tyler Moore dies 1/6 1/2 2/9 1/3 20
28 January 2017 President Trump bans Muslims from seven countries from entering the U.S. Protest demonstrations begin.* 4/31 4/34 4/37 5/57 159*

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.

Note 3*: The total number of links to protests relating to actions taken by President Trump are 218.

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 event must be a leading headline news story that is featured on prominent web sites for four major news outlets: CNN (U.S. and International), The New York Times, and the BBC. 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 cummulative 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:


The New York Times


CNN International