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. 8, 2011

As Gas Prices Spike, More See Economic News as Bad

A growing awareness of bad news about gas prices has, at least for now, reversed Americans’ more positive perceptions of economic news in recent months. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy, up from 29% in February, according to the latest News Interest Index survey conducted March 3-6 among […]

Mar. 2, 2011

Rising Oil Prices Big News for American Public

Summary of Findings Both the public and the media focused last week on the increasing violence in Libya, but Americans also closely tracked news about a related concern – the impact the crisis in the Middle East is having on oil prices at home. About two-in-ten (21%) say they followed news about the rising price […]

Feb. 24, 2011

Global Trouble Spots Top Public’s News Interests

The public expresses far more interest in news from global hot spots, including Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea, than in news from many less troubled countries. And while most Americans express interest in what happens in Canada and Great Britain, far fewer are interested in developments from other traditional U.S. allies – notably France. […]

Feb. 23, 2011

Public Still Focused on Egypt as Coverage Fades

Summary of Findings The public’s interest in developments in Egypt remained high last week as the media focused increasingly on domestic debates over how to deal with the fiscal troubles facing many states and how to bring down the federal deficit. About a third of the public (32%) says they followed news about the situation […]

Feb. 16, 2011

Interest in Egypt News Surges as Mubarak Departs

Summary of Findings The sudden conclusion to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign in Egypt dominated both news coverage and the public’s news interest last week. Fully 48% say they followed news about Egyptian protests and Mubarak’s resignation more closely than any other story, far surpassing the week’s other stories. The news media devoted 39% of coverage […]

Feb. 9, 2011

Public Now More Focused on Egypt, but Coverage Far Surpasses Interest

Summary of Findings The public’s interest in news about the massive anti-government protests in Egypt surged last week, but did not keep pace with the growth in media coverage. About a third (32%) of the public says they followed news about the protests in Egypt very closely last week. That’s nearly double the 17% that […]

Feb. 1, 2011

Limited Public Interest in Egyptian Protests

Summary of Findings So far, the extraordinary anti-government protests in Egypt have drawn much more attention from the news media than from the American public. Only about one-in-ten (11%) cite news about protests in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries as the story they followed most closely last week. By contrast, more than three times […]

Jan. 26, 2011

Tucson Rampage Still Top Story for Public

Summary of Findings The public continued to show strong interest last week in news about the shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., though the story did not dominate media coverage as it had one week earlier. More than four-in-ten Americans (44%) say they followed news about the aftermath of the Jan. 8 shootings more closely than […]

Jan. 24, 2011

Most Intend to Watch Obama’s State of the Union

Summary of Findings Most Americans say they plan to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Still, a sizable majority sees the speech to Congress as no more important than in previous years. In the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 20-23 among […]

Jan. 18, 2011

Arizona Rampage Dominates Public’s News Interest

Bipartisan Praise for Obama Memorial Speech

Jan. 12, 2011

Economic News Seen as Less Negative

Summary of Findings Though the new Congress convened in Washington last week, Americans focused most closely on news about the nation’s economy – until they heard about Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and a congresswoman fighting for her life. At that point, the shootings became the public’s top story. Before […]

Jan. 11, 2011

Press Coverage and Public Interest: Matches and Mismatches