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PEJ Report: Traditional Media Stayed With Jackson's Death Much Longer Than Blogs, Twitter

The blogosphere and the twitterati did not dwell on the death of Michael Jackson, according to the latest results of the Project for Excellence in Journalism's New Media Index.

According to the index (, which draws on Technorati and Icerocket's collective 100 million-plus blogs and more than double that many social media mentions, references to Jackson "all but vanished" from links to blog and twitter posts by late last week, while the traditional press "remained fixated" on the star's life and death.

According to the index, between June 29 and July 3, Jackson represented only 2% of links on blogs and other social media, compared to the first two days following his June 25 death, when that figure was 27%.

By contrast, for the same June 29-July 3 period, the Jackson story dominated traditional media--broadcast, cable and print--with 17% of the news hole.

The top story in the social media June 29-July 3, attracting 33% of all links, was about a British teenager who was given an original Sony Walkman to use for a week to mark the 30th anniversary of the technology.

Number two on the list, from Walkman to pitchman, PEJ pointed out, was the death of Discovery reality show star, Billy Mays.

Neither of those stories made the top-10 list for the mainstream press, however, which PEJ suggests "speaks to social media's predilection toward news about technology and the coming together around less well-known celebrity figures."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.