PEJ New Media Index: Health Care Opponents Dominate the Blogosphere

Mar 25, 2010

Last week, the blogosphere had something in common with the mainstream media. As the health care bill moved toward House passage, both devoted unprecedented levels of attention to the issue. The difference was that while the traditional press was focused largely on political strategy and counting votes, bloggers sounded off about the bill itself and the legislative process.

From March 15-19, fully 56% of the week's links in the blogosphere were about the health care issue, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. That was five times bigger than the next story and the highest level of interest in the subject since PEJ began tracking social media in January 2009.

In addition, it represents the most attention bloggers have paid to any topic since June 15-19, 2009, when the post-election protests in Iran made up 63% of the week's links.

Throughout the course of the week, bloggers highlighted a number of aspects of the reform debate, many of which originated from opinion pieces first appearing in the Washington Post. These included a column by the former editor of the New York Times criticizing coverage by Fox News, a warning from Democratic pollsters about the dangers of ignoring public opposition, and a column from a Republican House member suggesting a different path for health reform.

Read the full report Health Care Opponents Dominate the Blogosphere on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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