The News Interest Index is an ongoing project of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press which builds on the Center's longstanding research into public attentiveness to major news stories and examines news interest as it relates to the news media's agenda.

Apr. 5, 2007

Little Confidence in Military or Press Depictions of Iraq

Summary of Findings Four years into the Iraq war, most Americans say they have little or no confidence in the information they receive – from either the military or the media – about how things are going on the ground. Fewer than half (46%) say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence […]

Mar. 29, 2007

Attorney Firings: Important but Not Interesting

Summary of Findings Public interest in the Iraq war remained high last week as the country marked the fourth anniversary of the conflict, and the House of Representatives passed a controversial war funding bill. At the same time the fallout from the firing of eight U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department failed to gain much […]

Mar. 21, 2007

Attorney Firings Stir Limited Public Interest

Summary of Findings The controversy over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys is not attracting strong public interest in spite of intense media coverage of the story. In fact, the story evokes a typical response from the public when compared with news interest in past Washington scandals. Amid calls for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ resignation, […]

Mar. 15, 2007

Public Tunes In to Walter Reed Story

Summary of Findings News about problems with the medical care of wounded Iraq war veterans drew the public’s attention last week. More than three-in-ten Americans (31%) paid very close attention to news about conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and more general reports about how soldiers returning from Iraq are being cared for. And […]

Mar. 8, 2007

Today’s Journalists Less Prominent

Summary of Findings The increasingly fragmented media landscape has diminished the prominence of the nation’s top journalists. Two decades ago, the vast majority of Americans had a “favorite” journalist or news person, and the top picks were representatives of the big three broadcast television networks. Today, only a slim majority can name the journalist they […]

Mar. 1, 2007

Anna Nicole Audience Praises Press Coverage

Summary of Findings Anna Nicole Smith’s death and the bizarre aftermath continue to fascinate a significant segment of the American public and the mainstream media. During the second full week of coverage of the story, interest remained steady and coverage actually increased – as portions of the legal proceedings concerning her body were carried live […]

Feb. 23, 2007

Iraq Most Closely Followed and Covered News Story

Summary of Findings The public and the news media divided their attention last week among the top international stories, harsh winter weather, politics and the ongoing saga surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith. The Iraq war remained the No. 1 story both in terms of public interest and news coverage, however, the public hung […]

Feb. 16, 2007

Too Much Anna Nicole, But the Saga Attracts an Audience

Summary of Findings Most Americans feel the press has gone overboard in covering the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Fully 61% believe the Smith story has been overcovered, far more than the number saying that about any other recent story. Even so, a sizable minority (11%) followed Smith’s death more closely than any of last […]