The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism concluded a year-long study called New Media, Old Media, which examined news coverage by mainstream media, blogs, Twitter, and YouTube, and how it differs between the platforms.
The report found that bloggers tended to favor subjects that “elicited emotion, concerned individual or group rights, or triggered ideological passion,” while Tweeters focused on important and breaking information, and YouTube users emphasized selection and sharing.
Among other findings in the PEJ study:
• 53 percent of lead stories in the blogosphere remain on the top-subjects list for three days or fewer, while that number jumps to 72 percent for Twitter, with 52 percent spending just 24 hours on the list.
• Bloggers still rely mostly on mainstream media, with more than 99 percent of links shared coming from newspapers and broadcast networks, and four outlets accounting for the lion’s share, 80 percent: the British Broadcasting Corp., CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
• As for Twitter, just 50 percent of shared links came from legacy sources, with 40 percent from Web-only sources, and 10 percent from wire or non-news outlets.
• YouTube users shared more international stories than bloggers or Tweeters, with 26 percent of the most-watched news and political videos originating from outside of the United States.
• Politics play well on blogs and YouTube, as political stories accounted for 17 percent of the five most-linked-to stories for a given week, with that number rising to 21 percent for YouTube.
• Twitter users, meanwhile, gravitated toward technology, with tech stories representing 43 percent of the top five in a given week and 41 percent of the top items.
PEJ deputy director Amy Mitchell said, “As social-media sites and tools continue to evolve, so too will the interplay among new and traditional outlets and citizens’ relationship to the news.”