New Media Index: Government Assistance Tops Blogosphere, While Tweeters Ponder Apple's Ping

MedicareLogo.jpgA USA Today report that one out of every six Americans are on government-assistance programs such as Medicare was the most-shared news link by bloggers, while Twitter users focused on Apple’s new Ping social network for iTunes, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 3. The most-watched news and politics videos on YouTube were unchanged from the prior week due to a glitch on the Google-owned video site.

The debate over anti-poverty programs accounted for 32 percent of news links shared via the blogosphere, and it was followed by: the hostage situation at Discovery Communications headquarters in Bethesda, Md., Sept. 1, at 14 percent; a column in The Washington Post by Charles Krauthammer saying liberalism is under siege because liberal elites abuse charges of bigotry, at 13 percent; the Aug. 28 Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., led by talk-show host Glenn Beck, at 11 percent; and an article in the Los Angeles Times suggesting that Republican losses in the midterm elections would mean fewer women in Congress, at 6 percent.

Ping was the subject of 24 percent of Tweeted links, and it was followed by: Skype Connect, at 9 percent; a report that climate-change skeptic Bjørn Lomborg reversed field and declared climate change as one of the planet’s biggest challenges, at 5 percent; President Barack Obama’s interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, also at 5 percent; and a story from BBC News saying that alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom saw its sharpest year-to-year decline in 2009 since 1948, at 5 percent, as well.