Weekly Update: Week of April 25, 2011

This week, we saw a big shift in coverage in the mainstream media from the Easter holiday and the NBA and NHL playoffs last week to the beatification of Pope John Paul, Donald Trump, and the Sony Playstation network attack:

We saw continued coverage this week of the royal wedding, but the similarity of 0.743 from last week to this week is far below the mean similarity for the year of 0.91. It is interesting that the shift in coverage this week does not seem to have been driven by the eruption of a major news story, but rather simple by a shift from seasonal coverage (Easter and playoffs) back to topical news stories.

Comparing political blogs vs. mainstream media this week, we see that blogs were much more focused on the Sarah Palin (as usual), the Donald Trump and President Obama birth certificate stories, and the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. Mainstream media were more focused on the royal wedding, the beatification story, and the Sony Playstation attack:

Some of this difference is due to the larger, not as political, focus of mainstream media. Comparing just coverage of ‘obama’ in political blogs vs. mainstream media, we see that coverage of the president is very closely aligned this week, with both sets focusing almost entirely on the Donald Trump / birth certificate story, with some focus on Seth Meyer’s appearance at the White House correspondents’ dinner (which appearance focused largely on the same Donald Trump / birth certificate story).

Comparing left vs. right political blogs this week, we see that the left blogs are much more focused on the middle east, with heavy focus on the Palestinians and Israel and on Libya and NATO while the right blogs focused largely on God, Donald Trump, and immigration.

This comparison shows that the relative focus of blogs vs. mainstream media on Israel and on the birth certificate story are driven primarily by the focus of the left and right sides of the blogosphere rather than the set as a whole.

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