Aug. 6, 2008

Obama Fatigue – 48% Hearing Too Much About Him

Summary of Findings As he has since January, this week, Barack Obama enjoyed much more visibility as far as the public was concerned than did John McCain. By a margin of 76% to 11% respondents in Pew’s weekly News Interest Index survey named Obama over McCain as the candidate they have heard the most about […]

Jul. 31, 2008

Obama’s Trip a Top Campaign Event for Public

Summary of Findings Barack Obama’s weeklong tour of the Middle East and Europe dominated campaign coverage last week, and 90% of the public heard at least something about his travels. Obama’s trip became one of the biggest campaign events thus far, with 62% saying they heard a lot about it. The only campaign development more […]

Jul. 24, 2008

Democrats Highly Critical of New Yorker Cover, Republicans Say It Was Okay

Summary of Findings As Barack Obama prepared for a major international trip last week, a controversial magazine cover here at home drew more public attention. Fully four-in-ten Americans heard a lot about a satirical cartoon on the cover of the New Yorker magazine showing Obama and his wife in the Oval Office — the candidate […]

Jul. 16, 2008

Candidates’ Policy Positions Still Not Widely Known

Summary of Findings While Barack Obama has been the dominant figure in the presidential campaign, both in press coverage and public visibility, most Americans say they do not know very much about his policy positions. Only 40% say they know a lot or a fair amount about his positions on foreign policy; 59% say they […]

Aug. 22, 2007

Two Decades of American News Preferences

Aug. 14, 2003

California, Kobe and Gay Marriages Spark Little Public Interest

Summary of Findings Four months after the fall of Baghdad, developments in Iraq continue to top the public’s news agenda. Nearly half of Americans (45%) say they are following news about the current situation in Iraq very closely, while another 39% say they are following the story fairly closely. But many fewer Americans are paying […]

Jan. 1, 2002

Press Shines at a Dark Moment

by Andrew Kohut for Columbia Journalism Review

Jun. 1, 2001

Balancing News Interest: A Great Juggling Act

by Andrew Kohut for Columbia Journalism Review

Apr. 26, 1999

Record News Interest in Littleton Shooting

Introduction and Summary The Colorado school shootings evoked an extraordinary level of public attention. It is the third ranked news story of the 1990s in Pew Research Center surveys which have measured public attentiveness to more than 600 national and international stories since January 1990. Interest in the Littleton tragedy is comparable to the amount […]

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% […]

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 […]

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. […]

Oct. 13, 1994

Democratic Congressional Prospects Worsen

Report Summary A majority of Americans say they are inclined to vote for a Republican congressional candidate this fall. If they act on their intentions, it will be the first time in modern political history that the GOP carries the popular vote.

May. 19, 1994

Public Tunes Out Recent News

Report Summary The American public has not absorbed the basic facts of many major news stories of recent months. While most Americans know that Nelson Mandela was elected in South Africa, and that Richard Nixon was the President forced to resign over Watergate, a new nationwide survey by the Times Mirror Center found the public […]

Jan. 24, 1992

Public Interest and Awareness of the News

Report Summary In a period when Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as President of the USSR, when the Soviet Union fragmented and dissolved, and when the Commonwealth of Independent States took its place, stories about the U.S. economy are being followed much more closely by the American people.

Dec. 27, 1990

Year End Summary

Report Summary In a year that began and ended with American troops in the field, international news dominated the consciousness of Americans in 1990. In nine months of the last year, international news stories were the most closely followed news stories of the month, and throughout the entire period the public regarded international events as […]

Nov. 15, 1990

Gulf Still Top Story: Interest In Faltering Economy Surges

Report Summary Interest in news about the economy and the election campaigns increased markedly in the past month, but the crisis in the Gulf continued to be the story most closely followed by the American public. For the fourth consecutive month, approximately two-thirds of Times Mirror’s nationwide sample (62%) reported that it was following the […]

Jun. 7, 1990

Bush, Gorbachev Summit Evokes Moderate Interest

Report Summary Thirty-eight percent of the American public followed the Bush-Gorbachev summit “very closely” according to a new Times Mirror News Interest Index released today. While interest in the Washington summit was almost twice as great as public interest in last December’s meeting of the two world leaders off the coast of Malta (21%), the […]

May. 10, 1990

Hostage Release Tops Times Mirror News Interest Index

Report Summary News about the release of American hostages in the Middle East has attracted more public attention than any other single story in 1990 so far. Close to half the public (46%) report that they have paid very close attention to stories about the release of Robert Polhill and Frank Reed. This is the […]

Apr. 12, 1990

International News Tops Domestic in Public Interest

Report Summary Events overseas are overshadowing the importance of domestic news to the public. Americans are ten times more likely to cite an international news story (40%) than a domestic one (4%) as the most important event of the month. This is the fifth month in a row that Americans have named overseas stories more […]