For the past month or so I’ve been compiling a rather benign spreadsheet. I’ve been gathering news articles on the Church, either through Mormon Times, LDS Church News, Deseret News, and the Church Website. It started out thanks to this article and sort of snowballed from there into a list of 35 different articles.
What I did was a simple search of various “terms,” as a way of trying to pigeon hole the focus of the article – not the topic – but where the focus is (on a person, a place, an organization, Christ, etc). I am quite sure there are better ways to do this, more refined, more accurate, but this is what I came up with.
First, for the visual learners, a simple click on this link will take you to a word cloud of this search/project. This word cloud is made up of the first 15 articles I scanned/searched. The more prominent the word in those articles, the larger the word will be in the word cloud. Quite useful, methinks, and instructive.
Second, for the number oriented folk…here’s what I found. I limited my search to a couple of categories, namely (a) Church/LDS/Mormon, (b) President/Presidency, (c) Prophet, (d) Monson / Hinckley, (e) Apostle / Elder, (f) Lord, (g) Savior, (h) Jesus, and (i) Christ. I did a search in each of the articles for these terms and tallied them up just to see how the news, events and such were being reported and, as a result, how members were viewing the information.
Of all these categories, there were a total of 752 terms queried. These 752 terms consisted of the following:
Church / LDS / Mormon: 248x (7.29x per article)
Apostle / Elder: 232x (6.82x per article)
President / Presidency: 87x (2.56x per article)
Monson / Hinckley: 54x (1.59x per article)
Christ: 39x (1.15x per article)
Jesus: 35x (1.03x per article)
Prophet: 25x (0.74x per article)
Lord: 21x (0.62x per article)
Savior: 11x (0.32x per article)
I also did a slightly altered tally for the terms Christ and Jesus. If we remove those instances where “Jesus” and “Christ” were only stated in unison with the name of the Church, then the number of times these words were used dwindles to 7 (“Jesus”) and 3 (“Christ”), or approximately 0.21x and 0.09x per article, respectively.
Does this show where our focus lies? I also noticed a tendency towards self-congratulating articles, either on how much good the Church’s humanitarian efforts are, or how great Mormons are at rendering service in natural disasters, though this is difficult to put into one of these types of analyses, no matter how imperfect this particular one is.
Anyway…thought you’d all like to see it. Really, the word cloud shows it all.