Dec. 22, 1997

High Personal Contentment, Low News Interest

Survey Findings In 1997, Americans were happier with their own lives, felt more religious conviction and were less attentive to the news than at any time in recent years. Fully 47% of Americans say that they are highly contented with their lives today, a jump of 10% points in just the last year and 9% […]

Nov. 21, 1997

Americans Support Action on Global Warming

Introduction and Summary Most Americans are willing to join other countries in setting standards to improve the global environment and a majority would even pay more for gasoline to reduce global warming. But on the eve of the December Kyoto conference on climate change, the American public strongly rejects the notion that the United States […]

Nov. 9, 1997

Stock Market Down, New Media Up

Survey Findings On October 27, the day the stock market plunged more than 550 points, worried Americans turned to new media sources for instant information. Many of those who followed the story “very” closely tracked news of the sell-off either on cable television or over the Internet — news outlets that were not factors in […]

Oct. 10, 1997

America’s Place in the World II

Introduction and Summary The post-Cold War era may be less than a decade old, but Americans whose views help shape U.S. foreign policy have grown remarkably comfortable with it. Compared to four years ago when they were deeply troubled, American Opinion Leaders today see the world as a better place, where U.S. influence is enhanced […]

Oct. 7, 1997

Public and Opinion Leaders Favor NATO Enlargement

Introduction and Summary Majorities of the American public as well as the nation’s Opinion Leaders approve the expansion of NATO into Central Europe, according to surveys by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press released today (Tuesday 4 p.m.) as the Senate begins hearings on Alliance enlargement. These results come from a […]

Sep. 12, 1997

Diana’s Death Interested Everyone – A Rare News Event

Survey Findings In an era in which virtually all Americans share very few things, the story of Princess Diana’s death captivated the nation. Nearly nine in ten Americans paid attention to news of the tragedy and more than half (54%) followed the tragedy very closely. No other story this year has come close. Modern communications […]

Aug. 15, 1997

When Washington Works, Incumbents Prosper

Introduction and Summary For the first time in a very long time, Americans are happy with the country’s course and it is beginning to pay dividends to the political establishment. Not only are Bill Clinton’s approval ratings approaching Reagan’s at a comparable point, but support for Congressional incumbents is at a decade high, and interest […]

Jun. 27, 1997

Public Divided on Medicare Reforms

Survey Findings Pew’s latest News Interest Index finds that a little bit of news about Medicare reform travels a long way, while a lot of news about tax relief is mostly greeted with shrugs and disbelief. Fewer than four in ten Americans (38%) paid close attention to the ongoing Washington debate about how to cut […]

May. 23, 1997

Americans Only a Little Better Off, But Much Less Anxious

Introduction and Summary Psychologically, Americans have turned an important corner recently. They have become much less concerned about meeting major financial commitments, even though they say their material conditions have not dramatically improved. Heightened worries about affording health care, saving for retirement, or saving for a child’s college education have fallen off significantly in recent […]

May. 17, 1997

Ten Years of the Pew News Interest Index

Survey Findings An analysis of public attentiveness to more than 500 news stories over the last ten years confirms that the American public pays relatively little attention to many of the serious news stories of the day. The major exceptions to this rule are stories dealing with natural and man-made disasters and U.S. military actions. […]

May. 9, 1997

Motherhood Today — A Tougher Job, Less Ably Done

Introduction and Summary Contemporary motherhood is a balancing act for many women. Fully half of American women with children under 18 now work full time, and the biggest challenge they face, in their own words, is dealing with time pressures attendant to being a mother as well as a worker and a wife. No wonder […]

Apr. 18, 1997

Trust and Citizen Engagement in Metropolitan Philadelphia: A Case Study

Introduction and Summary FOREWORD Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s that “nothing … deserves more attention” in the fledgling United States than the immense variety and number of civic associations to which Americans belonged. Engagement in these associations appeared to reflect a unique degree of social trust and to promote a connectedness among citizens […]

Apr. 11, 1997

Americans Unmoved by Washington’s Big Stories

Introduction and Summary Top news stories from Washington are not connecting with the American people, according to the latest News Interest Index poll. A summit meeting, the growing campaign finance controversy and the legislative impasse on Capitol Hill have so far failed to stir the public. Just 6% of Americans followed very closely news about […]

Mar. 21, 1997

Few Favor Media Scrutiny of Political Leaders

Introduction and Summary The American public is more critical of press practices, less enthusiastic about the news product and less appreciative of the watchdog role played by the news media than it was a dozen years ago when The People & The Press surveys were inaugurated. Those polls concluded that criticism of the way the […]

Feb. 28, 1997

Widespread Pessimism about Balanced Budget

Survey Findings Despite the new spirit of bipartisanship in Washington and the sense of optimism inside the beltway that a budget agreement may finally be at hand, the American public is extremely bearish about the prospects for a balanced budget. Just 28% believe President Clinton and the GOP Congressional leaders will be able to reach […]

Jan. 24, 1997

Public Indifferent about NATO Expansion

Survey Findings The American public continues to support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) but is uninterested and equivocal about the question of expanding the alliance to include some former Soviet satellites in East Europe. A Pew Research Center poll found a 61% majority favoring maintaining NATO despite the end of the Cold War. However, […]

Jan. 17, 1997

The Optimism Gap Grows

Introduction and Summary As 1996 drew to a close Americans were evaluating their lives much the way they have over the past four decades during good economic times. Most feel they have made personal progress over the past five years, and most are optimistic about the future. Financial stability, good health and a strong family […]

Jan. 16, 1997

A Partisan Public Agenda

Introduction and Summary As Inauguration Day approaches, Bill Clinton is getting his highest ever approval rating (59%). Favorable opinion of Congress is also up sharply (56%) as the GOP begins its second consecutive term of control for the first time in more than sixty years. Newt Gingrich is the only unpopular national leader in the […]