Dec. 19, 2007

What Was — and Wasn’t — On the Public’s Mind in 2007

As in previous years, public opinion played an important role in shaping many of 2007′s major news stories. This year, fewer dominant trends were carryovers from the preceding year and those that were assumed a somewhat different — and in the case of the Iraq war less pessimistic — cast. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

Dec. 19, 2007

Gas Prices, Disasters Top Public’s News Interests In 2007

Summary of Findings Man-made and natural disasters dominated the list of the public’s top news stories in 2007. Nearly half of Americans (45%) tracked news about the shootings of 33 students at Virginia Tech University very closely, while nearly as many paid very close attention to reports on the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the California […]

Nov. 9, 2007

Iraq News: Less Dominant, Still Important

Summary of Findings News about the Iraq war does not dominate the public’s consciousness nearly as much as it did last winter. Currently, just 16% of Americans name the Iraq war as the news story that first comes to mind when asked what has been in the news lately. In December and January, a period […]

Oct. 23, 2007

Modest Interest in 2008 Campaign News

Summary of Findings The 2008 presidential campaign began much earlier than usual, but public interest in the campaign is at most only modestly higher than in previous campaigns. While Democrats are following the campaign more closely than at the same stage in previous primary contests, Republicans are no more engaged than in the past, resulting […]

Aug. 23, 2007

Utah Miners Top News Interest

Summary of Findings For the second week in a row, the plight of six miners trapped in a Utah mine dominated public interest. Though coverage of the miners fell off significantly from the previous week, 32% of the public paid very close attention to the story and roughly the same proportion (34%) said this was […]

Aug. 22, 2007

Two Decades of American News Preferences

Aug. 2, 2007

Public Blames Media for Too Much Celebrity Coverage

Summary of Findings An overwhelming majority of the public (87%) says celebrity scandals receive too much news coverage. This criticism generally holds across most major demographic and political groups. Virtually no one thinks there is too little coverage of celebrity scandals. When asked who is most to blame for the amount of coverage these kinds […]

Jun. 28, 2007

Iraq Dominates News Landscape in First Six Months of 2007

Summary of Findings In the first six months of 2007, the Iraq war has captivated the public’s interest and eclipsed most of the year’s other major news stories, including the 2008 presidential election, two major Washington political scandals, and news from other international trouble spots. Iraq has been the most closely followed news story in […]

Jun. 7, 2007

Public Wants to Know More about Darfur and Many Favor U.S. Involvement

As world leaders gather in Germany for the annual G-8 meeting, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur will be high on their agenda. Pew’s latest surveys find nearly half of Americans believing the United States has a moral obligation to do something about the ethnic genocide there, and a modest plurality thinking the U.S. should send […]

May. 9, 2007

Modest Coverage, Broad Interest in Pet Food Recall

Summary of Findings A story which received relatively little media coverage last week attracted a great deal of public interest. The recall of more than 100 brands of pet food due to possible contamination was the second most closely followed news story last week. Only the war in Iraq attracted more public interest. Nearly three-in-ten […]

Apr. 18, 2007

Most Say Imus’s Punishment Was Appropriate

Summary of Findings Americans, both black and white, generally agree with the punishment radio host Don Imus received for the racist and sexist remarks he made about the Rutgers University’s women basketball team. Nonetheless, there are substantial racial differences in views of Imus’s punishment, and an even bigger gap in opinions about news media’s coverage […]

Mar. 26, 2007

Solid Majority Favors Congressional Troop Deadline

Summary of Findings A solid majority of Americans say they want their congressional representative to support a bill calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by August 2008. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) say they would like to see their representative vote for such legislation, compared with just 33% who want their representative to oppose […]

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. 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 […]