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.

Mar. 17, 2010

Health Care Debate Dominates Interest and Coverage

Summary of Findings As President Obama and Democratic leaders mounted what was characterized as the final push to pass health care reform legislation last week, the public followed the health care debate more closely than any other major story (33% say they followed this story most closely). The debate also topped media coverage. The percentage […]

Mar. 10, 2010

Health Care Debate Back Atop Public’s News Agenda

Summary of Findings As Americans continue to track the debate over health care reform closely, a growing minority – now 39% – says they think health care legislation will pass this year. Just before the Feb. 25 bipartisan summit at the White House to discuss the stymied legislation, 27% said they thought a bill would […]

Mar. 3, 2010

Public Focuses on Health Care and Olympics

Summary of Findings Americans say the two news stories they followed most closely last week were the reinvigorated debate over health care reform in Washington and the second week of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In interviews shortly after the Feb. 25 bipartisan summit on health care legislation, a quarter of the public (25%) says […]

Feb. 24, 2010

Winter Olympics Tops Public’s News Interests

Summary of Findings Americans say they followed news about the Winter Olympics in Vancouver more closely than any other major news story last week. The Olympics also proved to be one of two stories people talked about most frequently with friends. The other was Tiger Woods’ televised apology for marital infidelities. About a quarter of […]

Feb. 17, 2010

Haiti, Snowstorms, Economy Vie for Public’s Attention

Summary of Findings Americans say they tracked the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news story last week, but they also kept a close watch on news about the U.S. economy and the powerful snow storms that hit the nation’s East Coast and South. Three-in-ten (30%) say they followed […]

Feb. 11, 2010

Press Gets Good Marks For Covering Toyota Troubles

Summary of Findings Americans continue to closely track news about the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti and the U.S. economy, paying less close attention to the fast-evolving story about serious safety problems with Toyota automobiles. Still, the public is quite laudatory of press coverage of the automaker’s problems. More than four-in-ten say they followed […]

Feb. 3, 2010

Public Focus Still on Haiti; Media Shifts to State of Union

Summary of Findings In a week when the media focused heavily on Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address and the state of the economy, Americans continued to track news about the earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news story. Four-in-ten say they followed news about the aftermath of the earthquake […]

Jan. 26, 2010

67% Now Doubt Health Care Bill Will Pass This Year

Summary of Findings Americans tracked the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news last week, but also kept a close watch on two intertwined stories: the fate of health care legislation in Washington and the outcome of last week’s special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Nearly half […]

Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti Dominates Public’s Consciousness

Summary of Findings Americans have been highly focused on the massive earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12. Not only is the disaster clearly the public’s top news story, fully 70% say it is the story they are talking about with friends. Overall interest in news about the Haiti earthquake is on par with interest in […]

Jan. 13, 2010

Public Stays with Health Care, Media Focuses on Terror

Summary of Findings The public and the media went their own ways on the news last week. The media kept up heavy coverage of the aftermath of the attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound jet on Christmas Day, while the public focused most closely on the health care debate in Washington. About a quarter (26%) […]