Finding readership/target audience data for mainstream newsmedia

Ok - first off, I hope this doesn’t qualify as ‘getting help with my homework’ as regards the SDMB rules. If anyone feels it does, feel free to report my wicked ways to a mod.

I’ve just started University and one of my subjects is ‘Science & Communication’ - we’re concentrating now on public awareness of scientific ideas, processes and discoveries with particular emphasis on how science is portrayed and reported on in the media. Our major assignment will be a fairly weighty (in terms of content and in assessment value) presentation to the class. We must choose a topic that involves ‘science’ in some way and track it’s portrayal in the media, including the history of it’s representation by news sources, trying to address and explain biases etc. I jumped up to choose ‘Intelligent Design in Science Classes’ - I will be able to get my teeth into this as I am vehemently Anti-ID. Anyway, it will be much more complex than I’ve made it sound but that’s pretty much what you need to know.

So, right now, I’m gathering related articles together from different news sources worldwide. They need to be mainstream type news sources and not scientific journals or anything like that. I’m wondering if anyone knows of good sources for the following information:

[li]Actual readership numbers and data for major newspaper and TV news organisations worldwide, if possible broken down to show ages, races, political leanings etc[/li][li]Target audience data for such organisations[/li][li]Political/commercial/religious affiliations of such organisations[/li][/ul]

I realise I’m asking for a lot of specific stuff but my googling is not yielding a bumper crop of information.

If anyone can point the way towards any of this sort of infor, even if it’s not - or only in part - what I’m looking for, that would be enormously helpful. I’ll be integrating the data into my assignment myself, acknowledging all sources and not plagiarising anything, so I really hope asking for this sort of help is OK with the mods and whatnot.

Well kudos for choosing a hot potato. But rather than using Google, you might try emailing your press sources directly.

For instance, look here for the Chicago Reader.

Most advertiser-supported media have that information right on their web sites, although it goes under many names. Look for “profile” “editorial profile” “advertiser/sponsor information” or something like that.

You can also reacquaint yourself with the reference department of your library and ask for any of several media directories, including Bacon’s, Burelle’s or Working Press of the Nation.

As kunilou says, there’s a whole section of books in the reference part of most university libraries with all of that info. Bacon’s is what we had to use for research when I was in journalism school.

Thanks guys, sorry to leave the thread for so long - I only have periodic internet access.

Can’t believe I didn’t think of the library catalogues - there are several libraries here on campus but they’re sort of seperated by subject area - different building for different institutions of study. I probably should learn to venture outside my own library, I’m guessing journalism materials are in another.

Thanks for the help, guys, I will try all your suggestions, especially contacting the newspapers directly.