Posted by: cindystephenson | July 17, 2009

News cycle dynamics

Washington Post newsroom

Ever wonder how different internet news sites compare when it comes to covering major stories?

A team at Cornell University analyzed news coverage during the US Presidential election campaign and have posted their results at MemeTracker.

The research team looked at the percentage of major stories each site covered and how early in the news cycle, on average, were the stories posted on the internet news site.

They referred to how early in the news cycle a story was posted as the “time lag” between when a story was first posted on the site and when it reached it peak.  (Negative times meant the site reported the news before it reached it’s peak, and positive numbers meant the site was lagging and only reported the news after it had reached its peak.)

Here’s how some of the popular internet news sites fared:

  • CNN Political Ticker tends to report a story/quote 19.5 hours before it reaches the peak; on average, they report 56 out of top 100 most important stories/quotes.
  • Huffington Post reports a story/quote 18 hours before it reaches the peak;  and on average, they report 73 out of the top 100 most important news stories/quotes.
  • Drudge Retort reports stories 12 hours before they peak, and cover 32 out of the top 100 stories.

Here’s how the web editions of three major daily newspapers did:

Go here to check out how your favourite news source did. And if you like posting links to breaking news on Twitter, this will give you some suggestions for sites to follow.

Photo credit: Panorama view of Washington Post newsroom – Burnt Pixel


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