A complain I hear often is Spaniard media over-cover Madrid and Barcelona to the detriment of the smaller cities. I was curious to know whether this was a fact, so I finally studied the number of references of the main Spaniard cities Google News.
This graph show the 20 most populated cities of Spain and its number of references in Google News.
The X-axis, orders the city according to its population, so Madrid has the most inhabitants and Elche the less (of this selection from the top 20). As we can see, Madrid and Barcelona get the most references, followed by Valencia, Vitoria, Seville and Zaragoza. This asserts the intuitive notion that Madrid and Barcelona get the most attention from the media, having more than 100,000 both of them.
However, for a fair comparison, the number of references must be compared to the population of each city.
This graphic shows the number of references per 1,000 inhabitants of the top 20 cities of Spain. As can be seen, Madrid and Barcelona are on the average, while Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Hospitalet de Llobregat are under referenced according to their population. Is it because this cities have large names? The references go up by two if their shorter names are search ("Las Palmas" and "Hospitalet") but their relative positions remain low.
Of the top 20, Vitoria receives an overwhelming attention according to its population. The raw data show that Madrid has 3.2 million inhabitants and Google News counts ~200,000 news. Vitoria is populated by 235,000 people and counts ~55,000 news.
León, Santander, Parla and Cádiz are among the most cited in the top 62 of most populated cities of Spain. i.e. Santander city gets benefits from the actual references to Banco de Santander, because Google News doesn't distinguish the city and the bank.
As can be seen, Abc es is the best journal covering of the Spaniard cities, specially Valladolid, Alicante and Valencia. El País prefers Bilbao and Valencia, while El Mundo, over-references to Barcelona and Bilbao.
Available in Google Docs are the tables with complete numbers of the 62 cities. Wikipedia is the source of the city list and their population (which quotes Statistics National Institute of Spain, INE).
Fernando Tricas suggested me to search city references in Blogsearch, Google's blog search engine. Results are filtered by language (Spanish). Next graph shows the number of references of the top 20 Spaniard cities in the Spanish blogs.
As can be ween, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia get the highest amount of posts. Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Hospitalet de Llobregat are also under-mentioned in the blogosphere.
Next graph shows the number of references in Blogsearch per 1,000 inhabitants, of the top 20 cities.
Granada and Córdoba have a high amount of references related to their population. On the contrary, Madrid and Barcelona receive little relative attention. This numbers are somewhat different to those of the media coverage. However, it is León and Cádiz who get the most relative attention when the top 62 is compared.
If you want to see the raw data, the results of the 62 cities and more graphics, take a look to this Google Docs' spreadsheet.