PEJ: Earthquake in Haiti Dominates Blogs, Social Media

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism released its latest New Media Index for the week of Jan. 11-15, and to no one’s surprise, the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti Jan. 13 dominated blogs and social-media sites.

The PEJ said 43% of news links included in blogs that week were Haiti-related, and the figure jumped to 82% after the earthquake actually occurred, covering Thursday and Friday.

The study divided Twitter into two different categories of tweets: those that shared news links, and those that encouraged support of charitable organizations helping Haiti with its recovery.

As far as news links, they were contained in 15% of tweets for the entire week and 36% Wednesday and Thursday. As for nonprofits, PEJ cited data from Sysomos stating that 2.3 million tweets Jan. 12-14 included the word “Haiti” or “Red Cross,” while 189,024 included “90999,” the number to text-message a donations to the Red Cross.

The PEJ also cited CNN.com in reporting that Facebook group Earthquake Haiti had nearly 170,000 members by Thursday (it was up to more than 290,000 at the time of this posting) and that some $8 million had been raised by the end of the week via social media.