October 12, 1989

Hurrican Hugo Tops NII

Report Summary

Two stories over the past four weeks are distinguished by how much and how little attention Americans paid to them. Reports of the amount of destruction caused by Hurricane Hugo were very closely followed by 60% of Americans, making it the third most closely followed story out of the 71 tracked by the Times Mirror News Interest Index over the past three years. At the other extreme only 6% reported following closely news about the scandal involving Barney Frank. The Frank story now matches the record for public inattentiveness established by the story of former Japanese Prime Minister Takeshita’s troubles in May 1989.