Commentary Jun. 20, 2007

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

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 20, 2007

Why Change the Channel?

Summary of Findings In spite of their general criticisms of the media, Americans have good things to say about the major broadcast and cable news networks. The public draws few distinctions among the news divisions of the big three broadcast networks. There is much less consensus about the major cable news networks. Nearly half of […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 14, 2007

Paris Hilton Becomes a National News Story

Summary of Findings Paris Hilton’s legal problems became a national news story last week. Coverage of Hilton being released from and then returned to jail filled 4% of the newshole, making it the fifth most heavily covered story of the week. Roughly a third of Americans (34%) said they followed news about Hilton very or […]

Survey Reports Jun. 13, 2007

’No Child Left Behind’ Gets Mixed Grades

Summary of Findings As Congress prepares to debate reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, Americans express mixed views about the nation’s signature education law. Among those who have heard about the law, 34% say the law has made schools better; 26% say it has made schools worse; and 32% say it has had […]

Survey Reports Jun. 7, 2007

Mixed Views on Immigration Bill

Summary of Findings The public is ambivalent about the immigration bill being debated by the Senate. Most Americans favor one of its key objectives, but the bill itself draws a mostly negative reaction from those who have heard about it. Just a third of those who have heard something about the bill favor it, while […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 7, 2007

Tuberculosis Story: Lots of Coverage, Lots of Interest

Summary of Findings News about an Atlanta man infected with a dangerous form of tuberculosis drew a large audience last week. The saga of the man’s illness and his travels abroad was the second most closely followed news story of the week – trailing only the situation in Iraq. Nearly a quarter of the public […]

Commentary Jun. 7, 2007

Public Wants to Know More about Darfur and Many Favor U.S. Involvement

As world leaders gather in Germany for the annual G-8 meeting, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur will be high on their agenda. Pew’s latest surveys find nearly half of Americans believing the United States has a moral obligation to do something about the ethnic genocide there, and a modest plurality thinking the U.S. should send […]

Survey Reports Jun. 4, 2007

Thompson Demonstrates Broad Potential Appeal

Summary of Findings Former Sen. Fred Thompson has broad potential appeal among Republican voters even before his expected entrance into the presidential race. Thompson is not nearly as well known as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani or the other leading GOP candidates. But 37% of the Republican and Republican-leaning voters who have heard […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 1, 2007

Political Divide in Views of Campaign Coverage

Summary of Findings At this early stage of the 2008 campaign, about half of the public believes that press coverage of the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates has been fair. But there are sizable partisan differences in evaluations of campaign coverage. Notably, a plurality of Republicans believes the press has gone too easy on Democratic […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 30, 2007

Gas Prices Top News Interest

Summary of Findings The rising price of gasoline replaced the Iraq war last week as the public’s most closely followed news story. More than half of the public (52%) paid very close attention to news about gas prices, and 27% said this was the single news story they followed more closely than any other. By […]

Commentary May. 29, 2007

Baker-Hamilton Redux

Four months after the bipartisan Iraq Study Group proposed a number of new policy options for dealing with the Iraq conflict, these proposals remain broadly popular with the public. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

Weekly News Interest Index May. 24, 2007

Iraq Dominates News Interest

Summary of Findings While the national media divided its time last week among a host of major news stories, the public remained intensely focused on the situation in Iraq. Fully 36% of Americans paid very closely attention to events in Iraq and 35% said this was the news story they followed more closely than any […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 23, 2007

Growing Up With the News

Summary of Findings In an era where the news is often dominated by war, tragedy and scandal, America’s parents are more likely to encourage their children to follow the news than they are to shield them from it. Among parents with school-aged children (kindergarten through 12th grade), six-in-ten (61%) say they often or sometimes encourage […]

Commentary May. 23, 2007

Four-in-Ten Americans Have Close Friends or Relatives Who are Gay

In the past four decades, growing numbers of gays have come out of the closet and into the mainstream of American life. As a consequence, 4-in-10 Americans now report that some of their close friends or family members are gays or lesbians. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

Survey Reports May. 22, 2007

Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream

Report Summary The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world. The Pew Research Center conducted more than 55,000 interviews to obtain a national sample of 1,050 […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 17, 2007

Iraq and Tornadoes Top the News

Summary of Findings In the news last week, the Iraq war continued to dominate both coverage and interest. Fully 30% of the public followed news about the current situation in Iraq very closely and 24% listed this as the single news story they followed more closely than any other. Fully one-quarter of the public paid […]

Commentary May. 16, 2007

Deconstructing the Debate 5/15/07

Commentary May. 9, 2007

Are Americans Ready to Elect a Female President?

When evaluating Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 prospects, one question remains inescapable: Are voters ready to elect a female president? On one level, the question would appear to be settled. In February, Gallup found 88% saying they would vote for a well-qualified woman for president. Contrast this with public opinion in 1969, the year Clinton graduated […]

Commentary May. 9, 2007

Closeness to Troops Boosts Support for War — but Not By Much

More than a quarter of adults in America (27%) say they have a very close family member or friend who has served in the current military effort in Iraq or Afghanistan. As one might expect, those with close contacts tend to be more supportive of the Iraq war and President Bush’s policies with regard to […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 9, 2007

Modest Coverage, Broad Interest in Pet Food Recall

Summary of Findings A story which received relatively little media coverage last week attracted a great deal of public interest. The recall of more than 100 brands of pet food due to possible contamination was the second most closely followed news story last week. Only the war in Iraq attracted more public interest. Nearly three-in-ten […]