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Most influential sources in the media

Media Cloud was used by Harvard's Yochai Benkler, one of its designers, to track media coverage of the SOPA-PIPA debate and to map that controversy via links throughout the media ecosystem. Benkler found that digital media like Reddit, Techdirt, and AmericanCensorship.org "were the most influential sources in the media ecosystem as ranked by incoming links, overshadowing the impact of traditional media sources." But as the authors point out, Benkler's subject matter was inherently Internet-centric; with this paper, they sought to repeat the controversy mapping on a less natively digital subject.

Digital activists are getting better at manipulating the media, promoting their own agendas and challenging official narratives. Newspapers, in turn, are vulnerable to this type of direction because of their reliance on newsy "actualities" like protests or other events.


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