PEJ New Media Index: Social Media Debate A Mortgage Mess, Science and Religion

  • October 21, 2010

The home mortgage crisis, fueled recently by charges of fraudulent foreclosure procedures, triggered angry reactions aimed at multiple culprits from bloggers of all political stripes last week.

For the week of October 11-15, fully 22% of the news links on blogs were about economic issues, with the vast majority focused on the housing market. That made it the No. 1 subject on blogs, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Many bloggers aimed their disgust at the banks for their lending practices while others blamed people who obtained mortgages they could not afford. Some, particularly real estate agents, also used their blogs to provide information to those who are buying or selling a foreclosed property.

Bloggers have spotlighted the mortgage situation before. Three weeks earlier, an article accusing some of the nation's largest mortgage companies of using a single document processor to sign off on foreclosures without having read the paperwork was the No. 5 subject, at 6% of the links.

The No. 2 story last week, also receiving 22% of the links, was a controversial column by Professor Jerry A. Coyne from the University of Chicago which appeared in the October 11 USA Today. Coyne argued that science and faith cannot coexist because each is based on foundations that have irreconcilable differences.

Read the full report, Social Media Debate A Mortgage Mess, Science and Religion on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.