Weekly News Interest Index Oct. 29, 2009

Fox News Viewed as Most Ideological Network

Summary of Findings The Fox News Channel is viewed by Americans in more ideological terms than other television news networks. And while the public is evenly divided in its view of hosts of cable news programs having strong political opinions, more Fox News viewers see this as a good thing than as a bad thing. […]

Commentary Oct. 27, 2009

Searching For Clues in the Global Warming Puzzle

Weekly News Interest Index Oct. 22, 2009

Most Say They Lack Background to Follow Afghan News

Summary of Findings In a week that saw passage of health care legislation by the Senate Finance Committee, news about health care reform remained front-and-center on the public’s news agenda, topping both public interest and news coverage. There also has been a sharp increase in the proportion of Americans saying they expect a health care […]

Survey Reports Oct. 22, 2009

Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming

There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008. The latest national survey by the […]

Weekly News Interest Index Oct. 15, 2009

Growing Interest in Swine Flu, Many See Press Overstating its Danger

Summary of Findings As the first vials of swine flu vaccine make their way into American communities, public interest in news about the disease is increasing. Nearly as many people now cite swine flu as their top news story of the week as mention the health care debate – the first time in several months […]

Commentary Oct. 14, 2009

But What Do the Polls Show?

Survey Reports Oct. 14, 2009

Well Known:Public Option, Sonia Sotomayor Little Known: Cap and Trade, Max Baucus

The U.S. government has a lot on its plate right now, which means that the American public has a lot to keep up with in the news. The Pew Research Center’s latest News IQ Quiz finds a mixed picture of public awareness on key issues, with majorities aware of some key facts on health […]

Commentary Oct. 9, 2009

Obama’s Nobel Prize

Survey Reports Oct. 9, 2009

Majority Continues to Support Civil Unions

A clear majority of Americans (57%) favors allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples, a status commonly known as civil unions. This finding marks a slight uptick in support for civil unions and appears to continue […]

Survey Reports Oct. 8, 2009

Mixed Views of Economic Policies and Health Care Reform Persist

Public opinion is conflicted regarding the two major domestic issues of the day – the economy and health care reform. On the economy, most Americans remain optimistic that Barack Obama’s policies will help, but the public expresses mixed views of the steps he has taken so far and sees no clear signs of recovery […]

Weekly News Interest Index Oct. 8, 2009

Americans Following Health Care, Economic News

Summary of Findings The public continued to closely track news about health care reform last week, while the media divided its attention across a range of foreign and domestic stories. A third (33%) of the public says they followed the debate over health care reform more closely than other top stories last week, while 22% […]

Survey Reports Oct. 6, 2009

Most Would Use Force to Stop Iranian Nukes

The public approves of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, although most Americans are not hopeful the talks will succeed. And a strong majority – 61% – says that it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Far fewer (24%) say it […]

Commentary Oct. 2, 2009

Strong Support For Watchdog Role, Despite Public Criticism Of News Media

Survey Reports Oct. 1, 2009

Support For Abortion Slips

Polls conducted in 2009 have found fewer Americans expressing support for abortion than in previous years. In Pew Research Center polls in 2007 and 2008, supporters of legal abortion clearly outnumbered opponents; now Americans are evenly divided on the question, and there have been modest increases in the numbers who favor reducing abortions or […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 30, 2009

Media Less Influential in Views on Health Care, Economy Than on Other Issues

Summary of Findings The first week of fall brought little change to the public’s news agenda with the debate over health care reform continuing to top public interest. However, the news media play much less of a role in shaping views of health care reform and the economy – where personal experiences are an important […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 23, 2009

No Increase in “Too Much” Obama Despite Media Blitz

Summary of Findings The number of Americans who say they are hearing too much about President Obama has not increased since mid-summer, despite the president’s high media visibility. Still, 37% say they are hearing too much about Obama. Since Labor Day, Obama has addressed a joint session of Congress about health care legislation, spoken to […]

Survey Reports Sep. 22, 2009

Public Support for Afghan Mission Slips

Public support for keeping U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan has declined since June and Americans express decidedly mixed views about whether the United States is making progress in reducing civilian casualties, defeating the Taliban militarily and establishing democracy in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, a sizable majority of the public (76%) views the possibility of the […]

Survey Reports Sep. 17, 2009

Obama Approval Ratings Steady, Personal Image Remains Positive

Following his nationally televised address to Congress, opinion of President Barack Obama has taken a more favorable turn. Obama’s job approval ratings, which had declined in the summer, have remained essentially unchanged over the past month. And the balance of opinion regarding the health care reform proposals before Congress has become a bit more […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 16, 2009

Health Care Debate Seen as “Rude and Disrespectful”

Summary of Findings With public and media attention focused on President Obama’s Sept. 9 health care address to a joint session of Congress, Americans overwhelmingly cited the health care debate as their top story of the week. And when asked to evaluate the tone of the health care debate, a majority says it has been […]

Survey Reports Sep. 13, 2009

Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low

The public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans’ views of media bias and independence now match previous lows. Just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news […]