Anti-Brexit activity flooded the media attention market in 2017

Brexit coverage dominated much of the media this year, as we discovered in Kaleida’s 2017 Year in Review where we looked at news and how attention patterns evolved from month to month. One publisher led most of the activity, but alt media sources are on the rise.

While the vote for Brexit may have surprised many in 2016, the backlash was palpable this year in the form of media coverage and engagement metrics. Nowhere is this more dramatic than with the success of The Independent, a national newspaper in the UK that went digital only in 2016. #

Interestingly, the source of that story is not one of the mainstream newspapers typically supporting the government’s views such as The Telegraph, The Times or even the Daily Mail. The story is by alt-media source Westmonster, a blog funded by Arron Banks, the leading funder of the Brexit campaign. #

However, immediately following the election in early June and the chaos that ensued a wave of Brexit activity arrived driven increasingly by alt media sources. Westmonster led the pack, but The Canary, Breitbart, Your News Wire, Brexit Central, Guido Fawkes and Another Angry Voice brought engagement growth for Brexit coverage in the months that followed. #

The increases in attention toward the end of the year point to an interesting change on the horizon. While common sense might suggest Brexit is becoming less interesting over time, the numbers indicate that it is in fact more important to people than ever. Perhaps Brexit is a catalyst for other political discussions happening on Facebook. Perhaps the dramatic nature of the issues and the personalities involved is Facebook fodder. #