99% Of Stories Blogs Link To Are Published By Mainstream Media

balloon boy

Bloggers like to think they now control the nation’s news agenda–but they don’t.

99% of the stories blogs link to are produced by mainstream media, according to the latest study from the Pew Research centre’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Pew’s findings—based on a year’s worth of data analysing the top stories on millions of blogs and social media pages, Twitter and YouTube—does show how new media websites can influence the overall impact of news stories, and the ways in which new media news storylines differ from the traditional press.

For instance:

  • Newspapers and broadcast networks generated more than 99% of the stories linked to by bloggers, and 87% of those stories were news reports rather than Op/Ed pieces.
  • But there were only 13 times when blogs and the mainstream press had the same top story, the most-overlapping of which was “the U.S. economic crisis (five weeks in all).” Others were H1N1, the protests in Iran last June and Sen. Edward Kennedy’s death.
  • Technology stories dominated on Twitter, comprising 43% of the top-five list any given week. “Foreign Events” stories came in second at 13%. And Twitter and the mainstream press were even less likely to share the same top story.
  • Unlike blogs, 39% of the most linked-to stories on Twitter came from online only sources, versus 30% that came from newspapers/magazines and broadcast networks.
  • Meanwhile, the “Foreign Events” category topped the most-viewed news videos on YouTube at 26%, whose top news agenda also mostly differed from the mainstream press. Also! CNN’s bizarro “balloon boy” interview got more than 2.5 million hits the week it aired.

Check out the full study here.

And click through to see what a year’s worth of data on new media news trends looks like >>

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