Vilka frågor får stor uppmärksamhet i ”gamla” respektive olika ”nya” medier, finns det en gemensam nyhetsagenda, och hur skiljer sig agendan mellan olika ”nya” och ”sociala” medier? Detta är några av de frågor som uppmärksammas i en ny undersökning av Project for Excellence in Journalism. I studien ingår, förutom traditionella nyhetsmedier, Twitter, bloggar och Youtube. Resultaten visar bland annat att:
Most broadly, the stories and issues that gain traction in social media differ substantially from those that lead in the mainstream press. But they also differ greatly from each other. Of the 29 weeks that we tracked all three social platforms, blogs, Twitter and YouTube shared the same top story just once. That was the week of June 15-19, when the protests that followed the Iranian elections led on all three.
Each social media platform also seems to have its own personality and function. In the year studied, bloggers gravitated toward stories that elicited emotion, concerned individual or group rights or triggered ideological passion. Often these were stories that people could personalize and then share in the social forum – at times in highly partisan language. And unlike in some other types of media, the partisanship here does not lean strongly to one side or the other. Even on stories like the Tea Party protests, Sarah Palin and public support for Obama both conservative and liberal voices come through strongly.
On Twitter, by contrast, technology is a major focus – with a heavy prominence on Twitter itself – while politics plays a much smaller role. The mission is primarily about passing along important – often breaking – information in a way that unifies or assumes shared values within the Twitter community. And the breaking news that trumped all else across Twitter in 2009 focused on the protests following the Iranian election. It led as the top news story on Twitter for seven weeks in a row – a feat not reached by any other news story on any of the platforms studied.
YouTube has still other characteristics that set it apart. Here, users don’t often add comments or additional insights but instead take part by selecting from millions of videos and sharing. Partly as a result, the most watched videos have a strong sense of serendipity. They pique interest and curiosity with a strong visual appeal. The “Hey you’ve got to see this,” mentality rings strong. Users also gravitate toward a much broader international mix here as videos transcend language barriers in a way that written text cannot.