PEJ New Media Index: Google Dominates Twitter; Blogs Focus on Gay Rights

Google continued to account for the most news links shared via Twitter, while gay-rights issues topped the blogosphere, and the most-watched news and politics YouTube video was CBS News Online’s raw footage of the accident at Sea World in which animal trainer Dawn Brancheau was drowned by a killer whale, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of March 1-5.

A total of 13 percent of news links shared via Twitter involved Google, particularly a CNET report that the search-engine giant purchased Web-based photo editor Picnik and a CNET column by Stephen Shankland about his experiences with Google Buzz making him use Facebook more. Google was followed by: a story on about John Patrick Bedell, who opened fire at the Pentagon and wounded two police officers, at 8 percent; protests by students and professors in California against budget cutbacks, also at 8 percent; the Smithsonian Institution refusing the suit worn by O.J. Simpson when he was acquitted of murder in 1995, at 7 percent; and Facebook, also at 7 percent.

Gay-rights issues accounted for 16 percent of news links shared via blogs, led by a report about a protest at a Catholic mass in the Netherlands, a story in The Washington Post about a change in health coverage for Catholic Charities employees; and another item in the Post about Washington, D.C., accepting same-sex marriage applications. Gay rights was followed by: the earthquake in Chile, also at 16 percent; a BBC report about the shuttering of digital-radio stations BBC 6 Music and Asian Network, at 12 percent; health-care reform at 10 percent, mostly a Washington Post story on a claim by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that if Senate Democrats use reconciliation to pass the bill, it would be an assault on the democratic process; and yet another Post contribution, a profile of Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff for President Barack Obama, at 9 percent.

As for YouTube news and politics videos, CBS News Online’s Sea World footage was followed by: A news report on the Sea World incident that originally aired on the Feb. 24 broadcast of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric; a home movie taken during the Feb. 27 earthquake in Chile; an Associated Press story about the whale incident, including an interview with Richard Ellis, a marine conservationist with the American Museum of Natural History; and a Mexican station’s news report in Spanish about the Sea World incident.