News sites duke it out on Prince Philip coverage

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh was one of April’s biggest news stories, and generated more coverage than any other ‘celebrity’ death over the past 12 months.

But who featured this story most prominently and what angles did they focus on? We ran analysis on media coverage across 20 of the nation’s leading news websites to find out.

All up, stories about Philip’s death spent nearly 5000 hours inside the top 10 spots on major news homepages in April.

The bulk of this came over two weekends, covering the initial news of his death and the funeral a week later. The timing of these two events probably contributed to the blanket coverage as there were fewer newsy items vying for prominent coverage at those times.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its British heritage, it was Daily Mail Australia that ran the most Philip stories in the top 10 positions. However, it was another free news site - 7News.com.au - that gave Philip stories the most time in those slots.

Her Majesty the Queen was the person most likely to be mentioned within the first 100 words of prominent Philip stories, at approximately 50 per cent.

Next was Prince Harry, who outshone his older brother and heir to the throne, William. Both sons, and Harry’s wife Meghan, were more likely to be mentioned than king in waiting Charles.

It’s interesting to compare which websites focused more heavily on the various elements.

While former Fairfax mastheads and The West Australian were most likely to focus on Queen Elizabeth, News.com.au, in particular, focused heavily on the younger generation.

News.com.au was the most likely to feature Harry, William and both of their wives in the first 100 words.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, was mentioned prominently in nearly one third of News.com.au stories, despite (or perhaps because of) not being present for the funeral. This was six times more frequently than the Sydney Morning Herald, who only featured Meghan prominently in five per cent of prominent coverage.

Nine stablemate Brisbane Times didn’t once mention Meghan prominently in stories used at the top of the homepage.

A chart as detailed as the below does not embed well into articles like this, but you can view the full interactive version on desktop here.

Philip topics by masthead

Want to learn more about media insights?

At Streem we work with a range of clients on both regular and one-off Media Analysis. Contact Asha Oberoi, Insights and Reporting Lead, for more information.

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