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New Media Index: Bloggers Find Religion, Tweeters Find Dead Mouse in Their Bread

Bloggers lost their religion over a Los Angeles Times story about a survey showing that atheists and agnostics were more knowledgeable about religion than followers of major faiths, while the most-Tweeted news link was a BBC item about a British food production company that was forced to pay a fine after a man found a dead mouse embedded in a loaf of bread, and the most-viewed news and politics video on YouTube was Swiss finance minister Hans-Rudolf Merz laughing uncontrollably while delivering a speech, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 1.

The holy war (or non-holy war) accounted for 23 percent of news links shared by bloggers, and it was followed by: an item from The Washington Post about the administration of President Barack Obama urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen living overseas with alleged ties to Al Qaeda, at 15 percent; another Washington Post offering, this one a column by Princeton University philosophy Prof. Kwame Anthony Appiah suggesting that future generations will condemn the current one for institutions such as the prison system and practices such as industrial meat production, at 9 percent; also at 9 percent a Los Angeles Times report about comments from former CIA director Michael Hayden that the president should have the authority to shut down the Internet in times of crisis; and astronomers’ discovery of Gliese 581G, the first planet found in another solar system believed to have the basic conditions needed to support extraterrestrial life, at 7 percent.

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New Media Index: Users of Social Network Twitter Focus on Social Networks, Twitter

Twitter's new logoFour of the five most-shared news links via Twitter were very close to home, involving social media and Twitter itself, while the war in Afghanistan and the death of actor Kevin McCarthy tied for the top spot on the list of news links shared by bloggers, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube was a since-removed ad for Newsday‘s iPad app, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of Sept. 13-17.

The most-Tweeted link was an item from Wired‘s Epicenter blog about Twitter’s redesigned home page, accounting for 15 percent of links shared via the 140-character service. It was followed by: a Mashable post about upcoming social-media site Google Me, at 11 percent; another Mashable story about Facebook Places going live in the United Kingdom, at 10 percent; the one non-tech offering, a BBC article about a British sportscaster’s complaint that a TV show made an inappropriate comment about her sexual identity, at 9 percent; and Bitbop, a new Android app that can bring streaming TV shows to smart-phone users over 3G or Wi-Fi, at 6 percent.

No single topic captured the imagination of the blogosphere, as Afghanistan and McCarthy each accounted for 13 percent of shared news links, followed by: a 2004 BBC article about the discovery of a diamond star that astronomers named Lucy, at 11 percent; two Washington Post opinion pieces about the war on terror, at 10 percent; and a story in the Los Angeles Times about President Barack Obama‘s crumbling electoral coalition, at 9 percent.

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New Media Index: Bloggers Focus on Iraq War

The war in Iraq was the subject of the most news links shared by bloggers during the week of Sept. 6-10, while a report on Mashable about The New York Times Co. chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. saying he expects to stop publishing a print edition of The New York Times in the future was the most-Tweeted news link, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube was an episode of YouTube-based The Philip DeFranco Show, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index.

The ongoing conflict in Iraq accounted for 25 percent of news links shared via the blogosphere, and it was followed by: news about the White House of President Barack Obama, including rumors about chief of staff Rahm Emanuel leaving the administration and the Oval Office rug, at 22 percent; a story from the Los Angeles Times about the possibility that a school named for former Vice President Al Gore was built over toxic and contaminated soil, at 12 percent; two 2010 election stories from The Washington Post, at 11 percent; and the plan by the Rev. Terry Jones to burn the Koran on Sept. 11 at 10 percent.

Sulzberger’s vision of permanently stopping the presses accounted for 17 percent of news links shared via Twitter, and it was followed by: another offering from Mashable about abducted Japanese journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka using a captor’s cell phone to Tweet his location, at 15 percent; the Koran-burning controversy at 13 percent; several Google-related stories, including those on new search feature Google Instant, at 10 percent; and a report that Apple was lifting its ban on Flash apps for the iPhone, at 7 percent.

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