New Media Index: McCain Op-Ed Praising Obama’s Arizona Memorial Speech Was Top News Link Shared by Bloggers

An op-ed piece in The Washington Post by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), which praised President Barack Obama for his Jan. 12 speech at the memorial service honoring those slain in the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 8, was the most-shared news link by bloggers, while Apple once again topped the list of most-Tweeted news links, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube was footage of flooding in Toowoomba, Australia, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of Jan. 17-21.

McCain’s op-ed accounted for 17 percent of news links shared via the blogosphere, and it was followed by: video of a BBC interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, appearing for the second week in a row, at 16 percent; another Washington Post op-ed piece, this one by George Will, who wrote that Congress has bequeathed much of its lawmaking power to the presidency and other government agencies in recent years, at 15 percent; health care, at 14 percent; and the economy, at 8 percent.

Two TechCrunch items about Apple accounted for 18 percent of news links shared via Twitter: one on the impact of the indefinite leave of absence taken by Apple CEO Steve Jobs for medical reasons, and the other about how iPad sales exceeded analysts’ expectations. Apple was followed by: the introduction of the new HTML5 logo, at 9 percent; complaints about Google’s decision to replace the link to its RSS reader product on the top of its Gmail homepage, also at 9 percent; a blog post by Paul Johnston of Greenpeace calling for more action on climate change and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, at 8 percent; and a CNN item on the organized-crime busts of 127 people across Italy, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, at 7 percent.

The flooding down under was followed on the list of most-viewed news and politics videos on YouTube by: the Jan. 12 installment of The Philip Defranco Show; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton falling while boarding a plane in Yemen; Palin’s Breath, a video made up of small segments of Sarah Palin breathing compiled from her speech about the events in Tucson; and a video from Always Up to Date including a link to the YouTube channel of accused Arizona shooter Jared Lee Loughner.