Friday, September 14, 2018

The Diversity of News Sources Shared on Twitter: Immigration Case Study

In January 2018 Pew Research published the results of a study reviewing the sources shared and linked to by 11.5m tweets on the topic of immigration. The study highlights the dominant role of news organisations as news sources, 75% of the tweets linked to content from these organisations.

It is no surprise that news organisations dominate when it comes to the sharing of sources on Twitter. The Pew Findings on immigration align with my own findings on Brexit, where just three news organisations accounted for over 30% of all links shared across social media. In the Pew Research study four news organisations accounted for 22% of all links shared on Twitter on the topic of immigration.

The Pew Study also looked separately at sites which were linked to at least 750 times during the period of the study. This produced a list 1,030 sites, 42% of these sites were news organisations. This may suggest a large diversity of sources, with nearly 600 other sites being shared as sources that were not news organisations. However, these sites received relatively few shares, news organisations as shown in the chart below received 75% of all links shared. The breakdown of these shares between news organisations is shown below this chart.

The breakdown of the news organisations was as follows. The top four news organisations accounted for 22% of all links shared.