Jun 30, 2009

Pop goes the news

Iran led the media coverage last week, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, but the death of Michael Jackson came in a fast second - and almost certainly will take the top spot for this week:
For the week, the protests in Iran ended up being the biggest story, totaling 19% of the newshole studied during June 22-28 by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Though he died Thursday night, Michael Jackson’s death was nearly as big, filling 18%, and Governor Sanford’s story, which fully broke on Wednesday, was third at 11%.
Cable television went nuts with the Jackson story and ignored almost everything else:
All media sectors covered Jackson heavily, but it was cable news channels that led the way. Fully 93% of cable coverage studied on the Thursday and Friday following his death was about the King of Pop. On the front pages of Friday morning newspapers, 37% of their coverage was Jackson-related compared to 55% of the leading online coverage.
The social networks were all atwitter with Jackson as well:

So many Google users searched for information about the dead singer that the popular search engine mistook the interest as a potential malware attack. For a short period of time, Google users were greeted with a message that read, “We're sorry, but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application.”

The popular communication site Twitter crashed, and Wikipedia experienced more than 500 edits to Jackson’s profile in less than 24 hours. AOL’s popular instant messenger service went down for approximately 40 minutes and the company released a statement that read, “Today was a seminal moment in Internet history. We've never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth."

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