Report

PEJ New Media Index: Lipstick, White Gloves and Protests Divide the Attention of Social Media

  • July 16, 2009

Depending on where you went in the world of social media last week, you would have been seen a dramatically different news agenda. The mix of news on blogs, Twitter, and YouTube varied greatly according to the New Media Index by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

On Twitter, the on-going protests in Iran continued to dominate, commanding 72% of the news-related links. Last week was the fourth week in a row, as measured by the tracking service Tweetmeme, where Twitter links have overwhelmingly focused on Iranian developments. Links related to Michael Jackson's memorial, on the other hand, made up only 1% of the links and there was not a single Palin-related story in the list.

On YouTube, another story reigned. It was a week overwhelmingly dedicated to the King of Pop. Twenty-two out of the top 23 most viewed news videos related to Jackson. And while some clips were a mix of segments from his memorial, the most dominate was a viral video claiming was evidence of Jackson's ghost.

The focus among bloggers was more divided. Sarah Palin's announcement that she was going to step down as governor of Alaska topped the list, with 14% of the links. Second (at 11%) was a July 5 BBC report about a scientific study suggesting that coffee might contain ingredients that could help reverse problems associated with Alzheimer's. Third (at 10%) was the memorial ceremony held in honor of Michael Jackson.

Read the full report Lipstick, White Gloves and Protests Divide the Attention of Social Media on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.