The immediacy of the Internet is realized during significant current events as Nielsen//NetRatings measured dramatic traffic surges to news sites for the week ending February 2nd 2003. Nearly half (46 percent) of Internet users revealed to Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) that visiting newspaper Web sites was a top online activity, indicating that a significant number already go online for news.
“By delivering up-to-the-minute content along with supplemental information, the Web is a primary source for news for many Americans,” said Carolyn Clark, senior Internet analyst for Nielsen//NetRatings. “In the past week, breaking news, such as the Columbia shuttle tragedy and the Iraq weapons inspections, have dominated the media coverage online and offline.”
|Top 10 Fastest Growing News Sites|
|Brand or Channel||1.26.03 Unique Audience (000)||2.02.03 Unique Audience (000)||Precent Growth|
|1. Time Magazine||407||863||112%|
|2. MSN Slate||473||953||101%|
|4. Netscape News||472||719||52%|
|5. CBS News||514||699||36%|
|6. CNN General News||3,008||4,070||35%|
|8. Fox News||637||826||30%|
|9. Hearst Newspapers Digital||730||893||22%|
Nielsen//NetRatings noted that one of Time.com’s most visited pages examined the Columbia shuttle crash and attracted more than 30 percent of the site’s audience traffic.
Meanwhile, the Columbia Space Shuttle dominated the Yahoo Buzz Index for the week ending February 8, 2003.
|The Buzz Index for the week ending February 8, 2003|
|2||Space Shuttle Columbia||New|
|3||Internal Revenue Service||6|
|11||American Idol 2||3|
|19||Lord of the Rings||30|
Further analysis from Yahoo for the week ending February 8, 2003 revealed other notable searches:
- “speed of sound” (+6,210%)
- “nasa tv” (+4,871%)
- “challenger explosion” (+2,753%)
- “challenger disaster” (+2,711%)
- “space shuttle” (+2,237%)
- “kennedy space center” (+2,102%)
- People searching for “space shuttle” also sought “nasa shuttles,” “space flight,” “shuttle reentry,” and “columbia pics.”
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