PEJ New Media Index: In the Blogosphere, Afghanistan Emerges as a Hot Topic

PEJ New Media Index: In the Blogosphere, Afghanistan Emerges as a Hot Topic

For the first time since PEJ launched the New Media Index in January, the conflict in Afghanistan was a major topic in the blogosphere, dominating the conversation last week.

For the week of August 31-September 4, the Afghanistan situation generated 26.3% of the links in blogs, and that discussion was almost entirely focused on an article by conservative columnist George Will advocating a U.S. pullout in Afghanistan. The bloggers seized on different elements of Will's column in their responses, but the prevailing reaction was critical.

Last week's spike in online interest in the eight-year-old war corresponds with a recent uptick in coverage in the mainstream press. For the week of August 31-September 6, Afghanistan was among the top stories in the News Coverage Index, accounting for 9% of the newshole. Apart from that topic, the online and mainstream news agendas differed dramatically last week.

The second-largest story in the blogs, at 16.9% of links, was about Disney buying Marvel Comics for $4 billion. This was followed by a story about how every human being has mutations in their genes (9.7% of the links), a story about the 2010 Congressional elections (8.1%), and a story about former New York governor Eliot Spitzer's possible political ambitions got 7.1%.

Read the full report In the Blogosphere, Afghanistan Emerges as a Hot Topic 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.