PEJ New Media Index: Twitter Joins Blogs on Health Care Bandwagon

The debate over the health care bill dominated the blogosphere for the second week in a row, but Twitter followed suit this week, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube was actress Katherine Heigl having a wardrobe malfunction after accepting an award in Las Vegas, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of March 22-26.

After accounting for 56 percent of links shared in blogs for the week of March 15-19, the total for health care rose to 61 percent for the week of March 22-26. It was followed by: the situation in China for Internet companies, at 14 percent; a 2004 article from The Washington Post about then-Vice President Dick Cheney using foul language in an exchange on the Senate floor, at 4 percent; a item on the discovery of a previously unknown type of ancient human, dubbed “X-woman,” through DNA analysis from a finger bone found in a Siberian cave, also at 4 percent; and‘s item on a volcano erupting near the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier in Iceland, at 3 percent.

A total of 26 percent of news links shared via Twitter involved health care, which was followed by: Twitter itself at 13 percent, including‘s first-hand account of the Twestival, in which people in more than 175 cities coordinated to raise money for charities via the microblogging service; CNET‘s take on the Pwn2Own contest, in which security analysts hacked into software and products such as the iPhone and Internet Explorer 8, at 8 percent; a item about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or spice, at 6 percent; and a report by on the expansion of Mexican drug-cartel activity into the United States, at 5 percent.

Heigl’s Janet Jackson moment was followed on YouTube by: footage of a truck pushing a car sideways down a motorway in England, taken by a mobile phone from a nearby traveler; a C-SPAN clip of a meeting on health care, during which Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) said, “When the deal goes down, all of this talk about rules — we make them up as we go along”; a collection of interviews with Tea Party protesters the day of the health care reform vote, produced by New Left Media; and footage of an incident at a March 17 rally in Ohio, where anti-health care protesters mocked a counter-protester with Parkinson’s disease. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: April 1, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT