The Rise and Fall of Osama Coverage

Posted by Chad

There has been a lot of buzz about the reaction in Social Media to the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. The story broke late Sunday and people plugged into the Social Media pipeline learned about it a full hour before President Obama made the announcement on television.

In comparison, let’s look at how online News sites reacted:

osama bin laden coverage

On Saturday, April 30th, the biggest story involving Osama bin Laden was a story about a bombing in Morocco, possibly connected to al-Qaida. There were few than 100 mentions of his name.

On Sunday, May 1st, that number jumped to nearly 3000, up 3135% from the day before.

By Monday, news mentions exploded to nearly 40,000. That’s roughly a 1400% increase from Sunday.

From Saturday to Monday, there was a 44,475% increase in news coverage about Osama bin Laden.

Monday, May 2nd, was the day with the most mentions of Osama bin Laden. Nearly 15% of all news worldwide mentioned his name.Osama vs. all news

Here we can see how US vs. Middle Eastern coverage of Osama bin Laden has been for the last 30 days. This chart includes searches for Osama’s name in Arabic (أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن), so it is likely that there is some noise in the red bars below.

US vs. Middle East Coverage

We can see that news and social media both react strongly to trends. At its peak, a single story can dominate the world’s headlines. It also shows that coverage tends to fall off quickly, even in the affected area, like the US in the chart above.

Also, when we look at products that are mentioned most in connection to Osama bin Laden, there is one clear – and extraordinarily pervasive – winner.

osama tag cloud

May 10, 2011 Chad Bolender 1 Comment

Filed under: media monitoring,news,Newsdesk,Web trends

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  • 1. Shakin’ up the News&hellip  |  August 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    […] before about the quickness of Newsdesk in its coverage of Oslo, the debut of Google+, and the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Zak has written about a disaster of a different sort. Share this:MoreLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

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