Examining the Linking Patterns and Link Building Strategies of Mainstream and Partisan Online News Media in Central Europe

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 319)


The presence of external links or sources in the articles are considered as one of the indicators for assessing their quality by a librarian and information community. In this article, we explore linking patterns of the most popular traditional and “alternative” (partisan) digital news media in two V4 countries of Central Europe: Czech and Slovak Republic. Alternative/partisan news media are understood as media that protest against traditional or mainstream media. Fake news as articles containing disinformation can appear in traditional media (e.g. in tabloids) as well as in alternative media. Eighteen most popular mainstream news media and fifteen most popular partisan media in Slovakia and Czech Republic were selected for quantitative and qualitative analysis of links. With this method, more than 171 million of unique domains of hyperlinks from and to the selected online media were collected and analyzed. The argument to conduct this type of research is that partisan news media are gaining popularity in the countries of Central Europe and the linking patterns of these media were rarely examined or compared with traditional media. Quantitative analysis and visualization of hyperlinks was performed using two software systems: Ahrefs and Gephi. We concluded that there are some differences between the linking patterns of mainstream and partisan digital news media that need the research attention not only to follow the communication patterns of digital media, but also to be able to detect the type of the news media automatically.


Fake news Online news media Alternative media Partisan media Mainstream media Traditional media Link building Hyperlink network analysis 



This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract No. APVV SK-IL-RD-18-0004 (MISDEED) and APVV-17-0267 (REBELION).


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Informatics and Information TechnologiesSlovak University of Technology in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia

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