PublicationsNovember 5, 2009

Bloggers Outraged at a Horrific Assault

A diverse mix of stories—from war policy to a scientific breakthrough—topped the news agenda in the blogosphere last week. But the dominant topic was a heinous crime that generated much more attention online than in the traditional press. On Twitter, the top subject was a very different kind of crime story.

PublicationsNovember 4, 2009

A Bull Market for Overseas News

In an era when foreign coverage in general has been decreasing, a number of overseas hotspots have generated substantially more attention this year than they did in 2008—with the exception of one war-torn nation. Which international stories are the most prominent in the news agenda in 2009? And why are they making headlines this year?

PublicationsNovember 2, 2009

The Big Three—Health Care, War and the Economy—Dominate Again

Coverage of health care was up last week, the economy was down and the war in Afghanistan remained about the same. But together, this trio continued their run atop the news agenda, a pattern we began to see settle in earlier this fall.

PublicationsOctober 29, 2009

The War in Afghanistan as a Washington Story

The conflict in Afghanistan was among the top stories last week when President Hamid Karzai agreed to an election runoff against opponent Abdullah Abdullah. But as media attention to the war has spiked in recent months, events in Afghanistan have taken a back seat to deliberations inside the United States.

PublicationsOctober 29, 2009

For the Second Straight Week, Bloggers Focus on Balloon Boy and Global Warming

Two subjects that didn’t generate much attention in the mainstream press last week remained hot topics in social media. The saga of six-year-old Falcon Heene and the phony balloon flight continued to provoke outrage in the blogosphere while a warning from the British Prime Minister triggered another debate over global warming.

PublicationsOctober 26, 2009

Buzz over Bonuses Drives Coverage of Economy

The economic crisis topped the news agenda last week as Wall Street pay packages triggered anger and action in Washington. Agreement on a runoff election also generated a spike in Afghanistan coverage, and hostilities between the White House and Fox News made the roster of top stories.

PublicationsOctober 22, 2009

Global Warming and a Balloon Drama Drive the Online Conversation

Two different topics grabbed the attention of social media last week to an extent rarely seen in the New Media Index. On blogs, a BBC report questioning global warming triggered a mostly enthusiastic response while the strange saga of “balloon boy” led on Twitter. On YouTube, a speech by a pop singer at a political rally was the most viewed video.

PublicationsOctober 21, 2009

Foreign Leaders in U.S. Headlines

The contested status of Afghanistan’s presidential election has focused media attention on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in recent days. But when it comes to foreign leaders in the news this year, his coverage lags behind two prominent Mideast heads of state. Which other overseas officials have made significant news in 2009?

PublicationsOctober 19, 2009

Health Care Re-emerges and ‘Balloon Boy’ Takes Flight

Ending a lull in coverage, the battle over health care reform returned as the No. 1 story last week as 23 senators cast votes on the issue. But the nation—and the media—were also captivated by a strange story about a six-year-old boy that began as breathless breaking cable news.

PublicationsOctober 15, 2009

Swine Flu in the Spotlight

The H1N1 virus, or the swine flu as it is widely known, was back in the news last week as the first doses of the vaccine were made available to the public. How has the level of coverage of the flu pandemic compared to media attention to other serious diseases in 2009?