Nate Silver, the political statistician extraordinaire, has turned his attention to publishing. His interest is honed by the fact that his blog is now hosted on the New York Times, which is currently implementing a paywall.
He has done an analysis of the most influential publications, consisting of a simple review of how frequently publications’ names appear in Google News and Google Blogs followed by the word “reported”, to give a representative sample of how often publications are quoted by others.
The full list of the top 242 is below.
A few quick comments:
* Four of the top seven are newswires (AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, AFP), showing that they retain their predominance as credible sources of news.
* Three of the top nine are US newspapers (NY Times, WSJ, Washington Post), demonstrating they remain powerhouse brands, even if they are struggling with monetizing that.
* Al Jazeera is #11, which shows the power of solid reporting where others are failing. This is a symptom of the current interest in the Middle East, but also that almost no-one has good coverage and analysis of the region.
* Similarly, three Indian newspapers are clustered between #22 and #31, providing primary coverage of a critical economy.
* TMZ is #10, illustrating both the power of celebrity, but also that scoops get attention. TMZ is indefatigable in following the blow-by-blow of celebrity lives, which pays off when they get the news everyone wants to hear.
* After TMZ, the only other publications in the top 50 which started as online only are Huffington Post at #37 and Techcrunch at #47.
* When you scroll down past #150 or so, the majority of the publications began as online only. This suggests that we already have a good idea of the 100 or so top newspaper brands that have a solid chance of surviving the next decade. All of the new media brands that are developing are starting from an online space.