Report

PEJ New Media Index: Internet Access Ignites the Blogosphere

  • March 18, 2010

Last week, in very large numbers, bloggers focused on a subject near and dear to their hearts-access to the internet.

From March 8-12, the top story in the blogosphere was a BBC survey of more than 27,000 adults worldwide in which four out of five people consider internet access a "fundamental right." Fully 43% of links in blogs were about this story and a related information graphic that mapped the spread of internet access around the world.

The survey elicited more attention among bloggers than any other story in 2010, other than the devastating earthquake in Haiti, which also received 43% of the links the week of January 11-15, 2010.  And since PEJ began the New Media Index in January 2009, there have been just 10 stories in all that have captured more than 40% of links.

Bloggers largely championed the idea of online access as a basic right and some called for legislation and programs to expand it. But many also dissected the survey findings closely, and some expressed concern that the question –"To what extent do you agree or disagree that access to the internet should be a fundamental right of all people?"– was too vague.

The second-biggest story on blogs (9% of links) was about the Large Hadron Collider – the large particle accelerator that scientists hope will help discover the origins of matter – but which must close at the end of 2011 to address design flaws.

Read the full report Internet Access Ignites the Blogosphere on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.