View Metadata Map

Language Variants

Anzahl der Wörter des Artikels; Aantal woorden in artikel; Artikkelin sanamäärä.

Usage Notes

Leader articles would usually contain around 1,200 words; however, digital analysis has enabled researchers to analyse word counts and revealed that different newspapers had their own standards: for example, a leader for the Times in 1855 averages around 1500 words. In contrast to the myth that Victorian writers were paid by the word, it was much more usual for newspapers to request an article of a certain number of pages. Although the abolition of Stamp Duty and advances in printing made it cheaper to print more pages, articles did not simply get longer: the introduction of headlines, integrated advertisements and illustrations all influenced article length. Added to this, there was a stark difference between broadsides, with their densely packed columns, and the New Journalism publications of 1880s Britain. Similar developments took place elsewhere, with factors including paper and ink shortages in young Australasian colonies causing publishers to temporarily suspend publication or make use of non-standard paper stock.


“the word count at which Times leaders stabilize by the 1850s centres at just over 1500 words.” [Liddle, 236]

“But when I joined the staff of the Daily Telegraph and had a free hand in writing at least three thousand words every day…” [Sala 1895, 1.363]

“I thought myself, however, sufficiently well paid with the sum he originally offered me, which was at the rate of some five or six shillings a line.” [Vizetelly, 1.272]