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Journalists Like Journalists

posted Apr 12, 2011, 2:11 AM by Thomas Plotkowiak   [ updated Apr 12, 2011, 2:47 AM ]
Recently when reading the twitter times I've stumbled upon a very nice post that had been forwarded to me through drewconway and Gephi . It is a piece of visualisation featured by Simon Rogers from the UK Guardian that shows the UK Journalists on twitter and their connections. The original visualisation has been done through Tony Hirst who features a couple of those nice visualisations on his blog.

He finds that "Folk within individual media groups tend to follow each other more intensely than they do people from other groups, but that said, inter-group following is still high. The major players across the media tweeps as a whole seem to be @arusbridger, @r4today, @skynews, @paulwaugh and @BBCLauraK"

I thought this is a brilliant observation and clearly shows some indications for homophily in the journalism business as can bee seen in the artefact of their twitter connections. We have seen this over and over again for other types of people like politicians and their tiwtter accounts or different communities based on certain topics.

I thought I'd contribute to this discussion and create a similar map for the journalists from the USA. I was quite lucky becase there already is an excellent website that lists the journalists and their affiliation with a certain newspaper.

So the only thing left to do was to gather the journalists and plot them in Gephi. And here is the resul. The nodes are colored by their organisation and the size represents the directed pagerank:

Iframe Wrapper

Basically the most dominant colors are NYT (14%), chicagotrib (9%), bizweek(7%), latimes(6%), usatoday(5%), ap (5%), wsj(4%), wired(3.5%), forbes, independent, cbsnews....
Gephi "rotates" the colors in the legend every time you click on it so I lost the original legend for this one :(.

As we can obviously see there is a tendency for homohpily among members of the same organisation and we see that the journalists from the nyt seem be the biggest organisation in the set. If I find some time I might run a homophily test on the data in UCINET.

If you want you can download the PDF or the GEPHI file to play around with it.

I'd love to hear some comments  :)