The Shot Heard Around the World Wide Web: Who Heard What Where About Osama bin Laden's Death


  • Accepted by previous editor Maria Bakardjieva


This study investigated what sources were relied on to find out about Osama bin Laden's death and whether perceptions of credibility and political party affiliation influenced these media choices. The most striking difference in media reliance for bin Laden news was that whatever sources Tea Partiers relied on and thought credible were those that Democrats did not rely on or see as credible. Despite the clamor about how quickly news flows through social network sites and Twitter, only about 5% of respondents first heard about bin Laden through these sources and a slightly larger percentage spread the news via these tools. Moreover, social network sites and Twitter were the least relied on about the aftermath of bin Laden's death.