PEJ New Media Index: Political Extremism (At Home and Abroad) Dominates the Blogosphere

PEJ New Media Index: Political Extremism (At Home and Abroad) Dominates the Blogosphere

Reaction to two events that put the spotlight on political extremists overwhelmed the discussion in the social media last week. One, widely covered in the U.S. media, was the attack at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. by a white supremacist. The other, barely noticed in this country, was a European Parliamentary election that seated two members of a hard-line right-wing party.

Together, these two stories generated almost 60% of the week's links on the Web tracking site Icerocket, according to the New Media Index by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. The two events also produced a similar pattern of response in the social media-outrage followed by more polarizing commentary about the causes and impact of ideological extremism.

Stories about the European election generated nearly a third (30%) of the week's links, a clear indication of the international flavor of the online community. While a few American bloggers reacted, the vast majority of commentary came from British bloggers upset at the election of two members of the anti-immigrant British National Party (BNP) to represent the U.K.

The shooting at the Holocaust museum (29% of the week's links) by white supremacist and Holocaust denier James W. von Brunn was primarily of interest to American bloggers who quickly turned to the question of who deserved blame.  

Read the full report Political Extremism (At Home and Abroad) Dominates the Blogosphere on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.