The 15 bloggiest stories of 2009

posted at 9:20 pm on December 30, 2009 by Karl

On Tuesday, the Pew Research Center posted an analysis comparing the annual results from its weekly News Interest Index and the News Coverage Index compiled by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ):

This year, the media’s top stories generally reflected the public’s top interests: the economic crisis, the new administration and the health care debate were the most covered news stories. But there were number of occasions when news coverage exceeded the public’s interest and vice versa.

For example, the media was more interested than the public in the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Sen. Arlen Specter’s switch to the Democratic Party and the release of Sarah Palin’s book.

While Pew compiled the establishment media’s top 15 stories from PEJ’s News Coverage Index, it failed to compile a similar list from PEJ’s New Media Index, which used services including Icerocket and Technorati to track interest in stories by the percentage of news links appearing in blog posts.

Had they done so, the list of the 15 bloggiest stories of 2009 would have looked like this:

1. Economic crisis/AIG bonuses (Mar 16-20) 65%
2. Obama Inaguration (Jan 19-23) 63%
3. Iran post-election unrest (Jun 15-19) 63%
4. Economy/Financial bailouts (Mar 23-27) 62%
5. ClimateGate (Dec 7-11) 52%
6. “What Happened to Global Warming?” (Oct 12-16) 50%
7. Stimulus passes (Feb 9-13) 50%
8. E-mail Phishing Scam (Oct 5-9) 45%
9. Senate passes health insurance bill (Dec 21-25) 44%
10. Navy SEALS charged with punching terrorist (Nov 23-27) 40%
11. Stimulus contents (Feb 2-6) 39%
12. Ted Kennedy dies (Aug 24-28) 38.7%
13. Obama slips in polls (Jul 20-24) 36%
14. Interrogation memos released (Apr 20-24) 36%
15. Prop 8 upheld (May 25-29) 35%

Initially, I should note that the blogosphere cannot be expected to be more than roughly compared with the establishment media. The traditional media can be limited in the time and space they devote to a topic, and feel much more of a responsibility to serve a spectrum of topics within those limits. Conversely, blogs still tend to be a niche media, and position themselves as an alternative to editorial judgments of the establishment.

Thus, it is not surprising that the list tends to reinforce the general image of the blogosphere as more focused on hot-button issues like global warming, enhanced interrogation and same-sex marriage than the establishment media. In some cases, the blogosphere mirrored establishment media interest in stories that did not engage the public (Iran, Ted Kennedy’s death). In other cases, the blogosphere shared the public’s relative lack of interest (the Sotomayor nomination, the death of Michael Jackson). And in the case of healthcare reform, the blogosphere tended to lag behind both the public and establishment media.

Of course, neither the blogosphere nor the establishment media are charged with simply mirroring the public’s interests of the moment, so the import of these differences is debatable. However, it is worth noting that neither the blogosphere nor the establishment media matched the sustained public interest in the economy (and to a lesser degree, public interest in Iraq and Afghanistan). Given the centrality of peace and prosperity to American life and politics, perhaps the new media should join the old in taking a look in the mirror.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Comments

Interesting. Sarah didn’t make the list. They must not be counting liberal blogs.

AnninCA on December 30, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Navy SEALS? Never heard of them.

/Gibson

SouthernGent on December 30, 2009 at 9:25 PM

For example, the media [aka liberals] was more interested than the public in the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy

Nah, I’m not going go there

Branch Rickey on December 30, 2009 at 9:26 PM

5. ClimateGate (Dec 7-11) 52%

MSM has no idea to what this refers.

Branch Rickey on December 30, 2009 at 9:27 PM

Psych! I thought it was open registration.

conservative pilgrim on December 30, 2009 at 9:30 PM

AnninCA on December 30, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Sarah Palin’s op-ed on cap-and-tax just missed this list.

Branch Rickey on December 30, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Personally, I’m torn on the lack of public interest in Ted Kennedy. Arguably, it means he declined as prominent bogeyman, while still quietly advancing statism.

Karl on December 30, 2009 at 9:30 PM

I’d love to know who amongst us here on HotAir are in the top 10 as far as number of comments posted.*

*Quality of posts can be debated!

SouthernGent on December 30, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Ted Kennedy is dead…?

I thought he just made a speech on the floor of the Senate not just a fortnight ago.

Seven Percent Solution on December 30, 2009 at 9:39 PM

Sarah Palin stepping down doesn’t even register?

As. if!

lansing quaker on December 30, 2009 at 9:43 PM

Sarah Palin stepping down doesn’t even register?

As. if!

lansing quaker on December 30, 2009 at 9:43 PM

It was the most blogged story of that week, but registered only 14% of the links.

Karl on December 30, 2009 at 9:49 PM

lansing quaker on December 30, 2009 at 9:43 PM

I guess you can’t judge what goes on in the general interwebz by what happens at HA.

Anything to do with Sarah Palin gets a 287% response around here….

MrScribbler on December 30, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Breaking News: Rush Limbaugh hospitalized in serious condition after suffering chest pains while golfing in Hawaii.

SnarkVader on December 30, 2009 at 9:49 PM

I liked this one (haven’t checked the number of comments in almost a year but)

this ONE did it for me

http://

kind of put all my fears to ORANGE and have been on alert ever since.

Prediction confirmed.

seesalrun on December 30, 2009 at 9:50 PM

5. ClimateGate (Dec 7-11) 52%

MSM has no idea to what this refers.

Branch Rickey on December 30, 2009 at 9:27 PM

MSM has no idea to what this refers.

Seriously. It’s not even on the Pew Top 15. I’m in shock at how not-shocked I am at the continued silence of the MSM over the story.

Nethicus on December 30, 2009 at 9:50 PM

Breaking News: Rush Limbaugh hospitalized in serious condition after suffering chest pains while golfing in Hawaii.

SnarkVader on December 30, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Breaking where?

SouthernGent on December 30, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Gee, and I thought one of the bloggier stories was the theory that MSNBC was courting all of their newest talk show hosts from the Violent and Drooling Idiot wards of the local insane asylums, looney bins and resident funny farms.

I mean, how else do you explain the likes of someone like Ed Schultz being allowed to sit in front of a studio camera and rant and rave for a good 60 minutes or more, while literally snapping at his guests or throwing desks around the place at the mere mention of someone like Sarah Palin?

It’s clear that MSNBC is recruiting talent who have been off their medication way too long.

I’m just disappointed someone didn’t dedicate a blog to studying this phenomena….other than Olbermann Watch, of course.

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 9:58 PM

Breaking News: Rush Limbaugh hospitalized in serious condition after suffering chest pains while golfing in Hawaii.

SnarkVader on December 30, 2009 at 9:49 PM
Breaking where?

SouthernGent on December 30, 2009 at 9:58 PM

HERE!

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:01 PM

I’m surprised Palin’s resignation nor Somali pirates made the list.

Robert_Paulson on December 30, 2009 at 10:01 PM

breaking on Politico but no more for confirmation.
Looks like it could be true. They have him listed as serious.

seesalrun on December 30, 2009 at 10:01 PM

The Limbaugh story is in headlines.

Karl on December 30, 2009 at 10:07 PM

breaking on Politico but no more for confirmation.
Looks like it could be true. They have him listed as serious.

seesalrun on December 30, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Only other place I saw it break was on KLTV’s site so far. Fox News has yet to report it, but that could change at any moment.

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:08 PM

The problem of matching reporting/blogging interest to consumer demand is due to two variables: uncertainty and fatigue.

At the beginning of the news cycle, uncertainty dictates the amount of coverage (Are we missing out?, Who really cares?, Who else is covering it?, etc.) This gives us examples as varied as Michael Jackson’s death and the ACORN scandal (really, which of these was more important?). Those covering the news then rush to catch up or a story never catches fire. How does one know?

Ultimately, stories die from fatigue. People (reporters and consumers) tire of the same thing appearing each day. How many ways can you say the “economy is bad” or “politicians are crooked”? There has to be a continuing rationale for sustained interest (i.e. new facts, an admission of guilt). Otherwise, a story slowly dies like an unwound metronome.

So, like all examples of the market at work, supply imperfectly matches demand. It can only approximate it. A perfect market requires perfect (in both detail and timing) knowledge. Even in the information age that’s a tough act to pull off. Just don’t think that lets you guys off the hook.

kevinsoberg on December 30, 2009 at 10:09 PM

Breitbart is now reporting on Limbaugh!

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:10 PM

you would think the 150,000 troops in Iraq might have made that list.

rob verdi on December 30, 2009 at 10:12 PM

WTF?!!! This Limbaugh story supposively broke around 4PM PST, 7PM EDT and Fox News has yet to say jack about it!

Who’s asleep at the wheel over there?!!!

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:13 PM

Limbaugh story just hit on Drudge!

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:14 PM

don’t mean to hijack

breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9CU18G81&show_article=1

please Allah or Ed give a feed to show some love and support.

seesalrun on December 30, 2009 at 10:15 PM

WABC has Limbaugh now as Breaking News!

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:16 PM

NYT

damn it Rush. Get well your COUNTRY NEEDS YOU

seesalrun on December 30, 2009 at 10:18 PM

OT

Gary Indiana is wanting to build a replica of Michael Jacksons’ Never Never Ranch. Ground breaking expected sometime in 2010.

I’m betting the local Fox station’s poll will scew heavily to this project NOT bringing more tourists to Gary.

Perhaps they should work more on cutting down the crime rate and making the city look like it has basic services first.

aikidoka on December 30, 2009 at 10:18 PM

On Rush:

It’s 5:26 pm today in Hawaii. Reports say it happened at 2:41 pm, about 3 hours ago. Chest pains, but serious condition. Don’t understand that.

Praying.

TXUS on December 30, 2009 at 10:26 PM

NOW Fox is reporting the Limbaugh story!

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:26 PM

ACORN? Never heard of them.

TN Mom on December 30, 2009 at 10:27 PM

NOW Fox is reporting the Limbaugh story!

pilamaye on December 30, 2009 at 10:26 PM

Thank you. Will be praying as well.

As an aside, would it be possible to include Nebraska’s 33-0 bowl game win in this list? ;}

Dark-Star on December 30, 2009 at 11:56 PM

MY LIST for most CONSERVATIVE movies of the Decade.


10: UNITED 93 (2005)
9: SCREW LOOSE CHANGE (2007) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLl8Yz2AmUU
8: PEARL HARBOR (YES! I’M SERIOUS) (2001)
7: FAHREN-HYPE 9/11 (2004) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkzXSm6XNdk
6: MICHAEL MOORE HATES AMERICA (2004)
5: BLACK HAWK DOWN (2002)
4: AMERICAN HISTORY IN BLACK AND WHITE (2003) ((A MUST SEE DOCUMENTARY CONSERVATIVES WILL NOT LONGER FEAR THE RACE CARD)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JCEPrFLgtw
3: THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
2: 300 (2007)

1: TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE (2004) Here’s WHY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8pAaT4unZc
The speech that turned me around back to a conservative. WARNING CONTENT WARNING!

rednebulastudios on December 31, 2009 at 3:53 AM

Also:
Stomped, beaten and fired for standing on principle for liberty, justice and brotherly love with the Gadsden Flag.

maverick muse on December 31, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Dark-Star on December 30, 2009 at 11:56 PM

Until Sovereign States’ Attorney Generals successfully prosecute and win their Constitutional case against Obama’s bribe for EugeniCare (dearly costing tax payer money to accomplish), Sen.Nelson has besmirched anything Nebraskan at this time. Sorry, but Nelson’s falling public support isn’t enough to assuage me from rooting against Nebraska’s team of unsavory thugs pushing age 30.

maverick muse on December 31, 2009 at 8:14 AM

It is kind of obvious that the establishment media goes online and to the blogosphere for its source material. No wonder the lists are similar.

percysunshine on December 31, 2009 at 8:26 AM

Thank you Karl. Anyone notice that only items 10 and 12 were not the beginning or continuation of a crisis. Remember, this Administration has never met a crisis that it did not desire to exploit.

MSGTAS on January 3, 2010 at 9:20 AM