PEJ New Media Index: Once Again, Sarah Palin and Iran Draw the Attention of Social Media

PEJ New Media Index: Once Again, Sarah Palin and Iran Draw the Attention of Social Media

Blogs, Twitter and YouTube last week each led with very different stories, and none of them overlapped with the leading subjects in traditional media, according to the New Media Index by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).

While the mainstream press attended to the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, social media showed very little interest in the largely drama-free proceedings. There, Sarah Palin and Iran were the biggest topics along with a number of unusual stories on subjects such as manipulative cats, hungry robots and Twitter technology.

In fact, of the top 10 stories in the traditional press last week, only one-the health care debate-also showed up among the leading stories in the blogosphere or on Twitter.

Looking first at the blogosphere, for the second week in a row Sarah Palin was the biggest topic of discussion. The Governor of Alaska garnered 33% of the blogger links this past week as the conversation followed two different news stories. One was a July 14 column Palin wrote for the Washington Post opposing the "cap-and-trade" energy proposal being debated in Congress. The other was a July 13 Los Angeles Times story that focused on the criticism Palin has received from members of her own party. 

Following Palin, the next two largest stories illustrate a trend PEJ has noted about the blogosphere, which often elevates offbeat reports that originate in the traditional press, but receive very little attention there.

Read the full report Once Again, Sarah Palin and Iran Draw the Attention of Social Media on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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