Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 23, 2007

Utah Miners Top News Interest

Summary of Findings For the second week in a row, the plight of six miners trapped in a Utah mine dominated public interest. Though coverage of the miners fell off significantly from the previous week, 32% of the public paid very close attention to the story and roughly the same proportion (34%) said this was […]

Commentary Aug. 22, 2007

Two Decades of American News Preferences

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 16, 2007

Few Interested in Bonds’ Home Run Record

Summary of Findings While Barry Bonds’ 756th career home run broke one of baseball’s long standing records, it was a non-event for many Americans. Just 12% followed the story very closely, while a 42% plurality did not follow the story at all closely. Bonds’ record received significantly less public attention than the last home run […]

Commentary Aug. 15, 2007

Presidential Campaign Isn’t Making a Good First Impression

The final votes won’t be counted for another 15 months, but the 2008 presidential campaign already seems to be wearing out its welcome with many Americans. When asked to sum up their impression of the early-blooming campaign in a word, a majority of the public has a negative assessment, while just one-in-five has a kind […]

Commentary Aug. 15, 2007

Two Decades of American News Preferences

Although the size and scope of the American news media have changed dramatically since the 1980s, audience news interests and preferences have remained surprisingly static. Of the two major indices of interest that are the focus of this report — overall level of interest in news and preferences for various types of news — neither […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 9, 2007

Broad Interest in Bridge Disaster, Good Marks for Coverage

Summary of Findings The bridge collapse in Minneapolis that killed five people and raised concerns about infrastructure safety nationwide surpassed all other news stories last week both in public interest and media coverage. Nearly half (48%) say this was the story they followed most closely last week, far exceeding interest in Iraq, the week’s next […]

Survey Reports Aug. 9, 2007

Internet News Audience Highly Critical of News Organizations

Summary of Findings The American public continues to fault news organizations for a number of perceived failures, with solid majorities criticizing them for political bias, inaccuracy and failing to acknowledge mistakes. But some of the harshest indictments of the press now come from the growing segment that relies on the internet as its main source […]

Survey Reports Aug. 2, 2007

A Summer of Discontent with Washington

Summary of Findings As official Washington winds down for its summer holiday, all three branches of government are coming under fire from the American public. Just 29% approve of the way President Bush is handling his job, and only slightly more, 33%, approve of the job performance of the Democratic leaders of Congress. Even the […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 2, 2007

Public Blames Media for Too Much Celebrity Coverage

Summary of Findings An overwhelming majority of the public (87%) says celebrity scandals receive too much news coverage. This criticism generally holds across most major demographic and political groups. Virtually no one thinks there is too little coverage of celebrity scandals. When asked who is most to blame for the amount of coverage these kinds […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 26, 2007

Hillary Clinton Most Visible Presidential Candidate

Summary of Findings The 2008 presidential campaign remained a top tier news story last week both in terms of coverage and public interest. The campaign has been one of the top five most covered news stories for much of the year, and public interest has remained fairly consistent. This past week, the national news media […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 19, 2007

News of the Week Doesn’t Grab Public’s Attention

Summary of Findings While the media focused intently last week on the escalating debate over U.S. policy in Iraq, the public took a typical summer hiatus from the major news stories of the week. The Iraq war, rather than the policy debate, was the news story the public focused on most closely, but even attention […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 12, 2007

Campaign Internet Videos: Viewed More on TV than Online

Summary of Findings Short videos produced for the internet are becoming an important component of campaign news. In some cases, candidates themselves are producing videos and releasing them on their campaign websites. Candidates also are seeing their own gaffes or embarrassing moments packaged in a brief video and put up on the web for all […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 5, 2007

British Car Bombs Top News Interest

Summary of Findings Dramatic events in London and Scotland last week attracted a large news audience. Roughly a third of the public paid very close attention to news that British police had found and defused two car bombs in London, and another 31% followed the story fairly closely. Fully 21% said this was the single […]

Commentary, Methodology Reports Jul. 2, 2007

“Frequently Asked Questions” about Pew’s Muslim American Survey

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 28, 2007

Iraq Dominates News Landscape in First Six Months of 2007

Summary of Findings In the first six months of 2007, the Iraq war has captivated the public’s interest and eclipsed most of the year’s other major news stories, including the 2008 presidential election, two major Washington political scandals, and news from other international trouble spots. Iraq has been the most closely followed news story in […]

Commentary Jun. 27, 2007

Who Flies the Flag? Not Always Who You Might Think

America is a patriotic country. Pew’s political values surveys over the past 20 years have found overwhelming agreement with the statement “I am very patriotic.” In this year’s survey, 90% concurred, which is consistent with measures dating back to 1987. For many Americans, demonstrating patriotism means showing the flag. Overall, 62% say they display the […]

Commentary Jun. 20, 2007

Bloomberg Well Known, But of Limited Appeal for Now

Michael Bloomberg has created some excitement in the political world about a possible run for the presidency by dropping his Republican affiliation. But a recent nationwide Pew voter survey found that while the New York mayor is relatively well known, his appeal is very modest at this point. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

Commentary Jun. 20, 2007

Are Americans out of Sync with Economic Reality?

If economists and real estate experts are correct in saying that the U.S. housing market is not only in a slump but likely to remain there for some time to come, that will come as a surprise to a (62%) majority of Americans who expect home prices to continue the upward trend of recent years. […]

Commentary, Methodology Reports Jun. 20, 2007

How Serious Is Polling’s Cell-Only Problem?

According to government statistics released last month, nearly 13% of U.S. households cannot now be reached by the typical telephone survey because they have only a cell phone and no landline telephone, and the share of Americans who are cell-only is increasing rapidly. To monitor this problem, the Pew Research Center conducted four studies in […]

Methodology Reports Jun. 20, 2007

What’s Missing from National RDD Surveys? The Impact of the Growing Cell-Only Population