News media tracking can be used to understand the content of news coverage and quantify its influence on public opinion and the social environment. We hypothesize that a parsimonious sampling of public health news coverage can gather statistically equivalent information to capture a census of coverage. We tested two general approaches to sampling. First, we randomly selected articles within a timeframe. Second, we randomly selected dates during 2000. None of these strategies showed a substantial deviation from the 2000 census of articles. We conclude that sampling coverage can produce estimates statistically equivalent to a census. Researchers should utilize coverage sampling.