Twitter's Influence Over The Global News System: Nearly Half Of News Outlets Have It In Their Top 50 Outlinked Domains

Twitter wields enormous influence over the global media landscape. Looking at all of the worldwide online news articles the GDELT Project has monitored in 2020, all 71 million outlinks (links in the body of a news article to an outsite website) were compiled to generate a dataset for around 38,000 news outlets (only outlets that include large numbers of outlinks are included, meaning that outlets in parts of the world that do not commonly link to other sites in their coverage are exluded) of the top 50 websites they most commonly linked to in 2020. Of those sites, 49% of them had Twitter in their top 50, meaning that Twitter is one of the top 50 websites their news coverage linked to this year. Much of this lies in the fact that heads of state, public health authorities and government agencies and officials of all kinds now use Twitter as their primary outlet for reaching the public, leading it to be the authoritative source for their statements. The fact that nearly half of the news outlets monitored by GDELT this year that link heavily in their coverage to other sites had Twitter among their top 50 most-linked sites stands testament to its power over the news landscape.

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