PEJ New Media Index: Obama and Orange Juice Stir Online Passion

  • March 06, 2009

Even as bloggers kept a sharp eye on events in Washington, the new media agenda-for the second week in a row-flexed its muscle on a hot-button consumer issue. And the week's top videos included a celebrity who was allegedly beaten followed by a commentator beating up on the President.

Barack Obama remained the dominant figure in the blogosphere last week, with heated debate over his success or lack thereof so far in office. But almost as much passion erupted online over the launch and then cancellation of new packaging for Tropicana orange juice.

Obama was the central figure in two of the three most linked to stories by blogs and social media sites the week of Feb. 23-27, as found in the New Media Index of Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. The most frequent postings, at 15% of the embedded links, stemmed from new polls showing strong public support for the President. Following close behind, at 14%, was debate over Obama's sweeping $3.6 trillion budget proposal.

But just as many postings,  14% of embedded links, featured reaction to the marketing and packaging of one of America's most iconic drinks-Tropicana orange juice. Many online expressed disappointment in the newly debuted design and then rejoiced when the company bowed to pressure to return to its original version.

Read the full report Obama and Orange Juice Stir Online Passion on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.