New Media Index: Earthquake, Tsunami in Japan Dominate Twitter; Bloggers Ready for 2012 Presidential Campaign

The earthquake and tsunami that victimized Japan March 11 accounted for a whopping 66 percent of Tweeted news links for the week of March 7-11, despite occurring on the last day of the period, while the upcoming 2012 presidential campaign dominated the blogosphere, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube was a Spanish news report about a soccer player kicking an owl during a game, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index.

The disaster was followed on the list of most-shared news links via Twitter by: the civil war in Libya, at 15 percent; a report in The Sun that Justin Bieber skateboarded through an airport terminal in Birmingham, at 13 percent; Google, at 10 percent; and a preview of the Apple iPad 2 from Mashable, at 7 percent.

The race for the 2012 presidential election accounted for 37 percent of news links shared by bloggers, followed by: the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist David Broder, at 17 percent; the executive order signed by President Barack Obama to create a formal system of indefinite detention for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, at 10 percent; a column in The Washington Post by George Will questioning the United States’ intervention in Libya, at 7 percent; and a Washington Post interview with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko regarding allegations that the recent election there was fraudulent, at 6 percent.

The kicked owl was followed on the list of most-viewed news and politics videos on YouTube by: gunfire in a Libyan city; a clip from Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor where footage shown during a discussion about protestors in Wisconsin did not match the conversation; migrants struggling to leave Libya at its border with Tunisia; and an Italian news report about an unidentified flying object seen over Russia March 7.

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