One thing that it makes more sense – though logistically it’s not so easy – to do with print newspapers than with online news sites is to compare front pages on big event days. Be sure to click on the “top 30 U.S. Papers” link, just below the first newspaper image.
This posting provides some valuable insight into geography, emotion, time passing, ephemera. The range of headline copy alone provides an interesting study of editorial choices, be they looking forward, sensational, or even combative, such as shown on the Orlando paper.
Also, for a designer, just looking at the “top 30 U.S. Papers” SWF page is an interesting study of scale, type choices, and layout.