Tweets reveal news readership patterns around the world

Sep 25, 2013

For many international news followers, having a cup of coffee while reading the morning newspaper has turned into scrolling a Twitter feed to catch up on important news as it happens throughout the day. In a new article published in SAGE Open, researchers used data collected from Twitter to study readers' news preferences across the globe and discovered that different countries have stronger preference towards different types of articles – American and British readers are more drawn to opinion and world news, Spaniards to local and national news, Brazilians to sports and arts, and Germans to politics and economy.

The researchers also found that German and Spanish readers are more likely to read national newspapers compared to British readers, who prefer foreign publications.

Authors Marco Toledo Bastos and Gabriela Zago conducted the study by monitoring tweeted news links from eight of the largest national newspapers in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, and Germany over two weeks in 2012. The researchers analyzed123,191 from Germany, 394,533 from Brazil, 792,952 from Spain, 537,606 from the UK, and 994,417 from America, totaling of 2,842,699 tweets.

Through their analysis, the researchers found not only that social media helps to demonstrate readership patterns, but also that through social media the readers themselves play an active role in determining the popularity of different news stories.

The researchers wrote, "Audiences now have the opportunity to express their agency, not only as readers of texts but also as a fundamental piece that decides which news articles are replicated and which news section gets the most attention across ."

Explore further: 'Respect' button is better for democracy than 'like' button, study finds

More information: "Tweeting News Articles: Readership and News Section in Europe and the Americas." SAGE Open, 2013.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

USA Today Twitter feed hacked

Sep 26, 2011

The Twitter account of USA Today has been hacked in the latest cyberattack on a US media outlet by a group calling itself the "Script Kiddies."

Recommended for you

Apple helps iTunes users delete free U2 album

9 hours ago

Apple on Monday began helping people boot U2 off their iTunes accounts after a cacophony of complaints about not wanting the automatically downloaded free album by the Irish rock band.

Habitual Facebook users: Suckers for social media scams?

15 hours ago

A new study finds that habitual use of Facebook makes individuals susceptible to social media phishing attacks by criminals, likely because they automatically respond to requests without considering how they are connected ...

YouTube to go offline in India on Android phones

15 hours ago

YouTube users in India will soon be able to save videos from the Google-owned service, making it possible to watch them offline, and the feature will eventually be available globally, the company said Monday.

Facebook vs. loneliness

19 hours ago

Are people becoming lonelier even as they feel more connected online? Hayeon Song, an assistant professor of communication at UWM, explored this topic in recent research.

User comments : 0