New Media Index: Formula 1 TV Deal Starts Twitter’s Engines

By David Cohen Comment

Twitter users rushed to express their displeasure with the deal by the British Broadcasting Corp. and Sky Sports to air Formula 1 auto races, as only one-half of the events will now be on free TV, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of July 25-29.

Meanwhile, bloggers were focused on the debt ceiling, and the most-viewed news and politics video on YouTube was footage showing the aftermath of the July 22 bomb blast in downtown Oslo, Norway.

The Formula 1 television deal accounted for 25 percent of tweeted news links, and it was followed by: a BBC item about a cartel of large IT firms overcharging British government departments for their services, at 7 percent; an post about a late nine-year-old girl who wanted to raise money to supply poor countries with clean water, also at 7 percent; the News of the World hacking scandal, which dropped to 6 percent after dominating most of the month; and an article in Wired about the future of computing, at 5 percent.

The debate over the debt ceiling accounted for 23 percent of news links shared by bloggers, followed by: the passage of the Dream Act in California, which gives undocumented college students state financial aid for their educations, at 22 percent; and three items tied at 9 percent apiece — news that authorities cannot force violators to pay the fines from red-light cameras in Los Angeles; a BBC Radio discussion about building a Pompeii theme park; and an opinion piece by Lawrence M. Krauss, director of the Origins Project science program at Arizona State University, criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s day of prayer and fasting.

The Oslo footage was followed on the list of most-viewed news and politics videos on YouTube by: a parody ad from the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee for fake drug Spenditol; Russia Today footage of the rescue effort after the attack on a youth camp on the island of Utoya, near Oslo; waterfalls flowing upward during extreme winds in Australia; and a Jet2 Boeing 737-800 misfiring during its initial takeoff from Ibiza Airport.