The Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) compared the news agenda of the mainstream media for one week with the news agenda found on a host of user-news sites for the same period. In a week (June 24-29) when the mainstream press was focused on Iraq and immigration, the three leading user-news sites — Reddit, Digg and Del.icio.us — were more focused on stories like the release of Apple’s new iphone and that Nintendo had surpassed Sony in net worth, according to the PEJ study. Here's the Chron's report on the study.
The PEJ study also looked at Yahoo's main news page, the most popular news Web site in the U.S. according to both comScore and Nielsen//Net Ratings. While the story choices on that page reflect the views of Yahoo's editors, the site offers three user-driven lists of stories: Most Viewed, Most-Recommended and Most E-mailed. Of the three, the Most Viewed page was also the most sensational. Eleven percent of all stories were celebrity-related stories, compared to 3 percent of Most E-mailed and just 1 percent of Most Recommended. Meanwhile, crime accounted for 8 percent of all coverage on Most Viewed, slightly higher than what it was on Most E-mailed (7 percent) and Most Recommended (5 percent).