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Along with the rapid development of online news production and consumption, information spreads rapidly among news portals through reprinting and re-posting. Understanding the dissemination process of online news has important implications for policy making, crisis management, and brand imaging. As the frequency of news reprinting between two news portals expresses the social relationship between them, the topological properties of complex networks of news portals indicate the dynamic patterns of online news dissemination. This research is the first study that examines patterns and organizational structure of online news networks based on historical data collected from more than one thousand Chinese news portals. Main findings reveal that information can spread widely and rapidly through online news portals. Specifically, some major news portals exchange information with each other frequently and they exchange information with small news portals directly, implying that hot-spot events, even they are first reported by a small news portal, can be re-posted by many major news portals in a short time and then spread over the Internet quickly. The dense connections between many major news portals ensure that the spread will not be influenced greatly by the refusal to report typical events of a small part of major news portals.
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- Patterns of news dissemination through online news media: A case study in China
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