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Targeting for the Time-Cross Project:
October 2016 Events Covered in the News as of 31 October 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 Overview 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 October Syrian, Iraq, and Yemen Wars: Aleppo aerial bombing and other attacks 2/7 9/15 2/4 8/13 39
1 October 2016 Gas explosion in Spain   1/1     1
3 October 2016 Kim Kardashian robbed in Paris 1/1 1/3 1/1 1/3 8
3 October 2016 Peace deal rejected in Columbia 1/1 1/3 1/3 1/1 8
3 October 2016 Hurricane Matthew: Over 1 million in U.S. without power 6/45 5/32 8/31 6/38 146
3 October 2016 Taliban attack Kunduz 1/1 1/1     2
8 October 2016 Mount Aso begins to erupt in Japan   1/2   1/1 3
12 October 2016 Well Fargo Scandal (John Stumpf resigns) 1/1 1/1 1/1 1/3 6
13 October 2016 Thai King dies 1/1 2/9 1/2 1/3 15
13 October 2016 Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in Literature 1/4 2/5 1/4 1/3 16
8 October and onward, 2016 Donald Trump groping scandal 7/38 6/29 9/18 7/37 122
15 October 2016 Wikilieaks release of Clinton Wall Street transcripts 1/4       4
15 October and onward, 2016 Iraq war: Battle to retake Mosul from ISIS, and other attacks 11/32 13/41 5/13 8/29 115
16 October 2016 GOP office in North Carolina firebombed 1/1     1/1 2
10 October and onward, 2016 Hillary Clinton's email scandal 7/38 7/25 8/22 8/42 127
21 October 2016 Worldwide cyber attacks darken much of Internet 1/1 2/2 2/4 2/2 9
22 October 2016 French police clash with Calais migrants 1/1 2/2 1/2 4/16 21
24 October 2016 Police school attack in Pakistan   2/4   1/4 8
26 October 2016 Two Italian earthquakes 1/1 1/1 1/1 1/1 4
30 October 2016 Earthquake hits central Italy 1/2 1/5 1/1 1/4 12

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 table. 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