Aug. 11, 2010

More Hearing Good News about Gulf Spill

Summary of Findings In the days following BP’s latest—and apparently successful—effort to seal the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, public perceptions of news about the spill have become somewhat more positive. Only a quarter of Americans (25%) say they are hearing mostly good news about the oil spill, but that is more than […]

Aug. 3, 2010

Mixed Reactions to Leak of Afghanistan Documents

Summary of Findings The disclosure of more than 75,000 classified documents about the war in Afghanistan by the website WikiLeaks garnered significant media coverage last week, and those familiar with the story were split over the effect of the leak: about equal percentages say the release harms the public interest as say it serves the […]

Jul. 28, 2010

Sherrod Case Draws Heavy Coverage, Modest Interest

Summary of Findings The controversy surrounding the firing of U.S. Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod attracted widespread attention from the news media last week and was the dominant story on cable news networks. The public, however, showed modest interest in the Sherrod affair and, as has been the case since early May, the oil […]

Jul. 21, 2010

Oil Leak News Viewed as Mix of Good and Bad

Summary of Findings Amid reports that BP has been able to at least temporarily stem the flow of oil from its ruptured underwater well, the public and the media last week again focused on the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. And, after several months of relentlessly bad news about the spreading spill, the possibility […]

Jul. 14, 2010

Modest Decline in Oil Leak Interest, Sharp Decline in Coverage

Summary of Findings As the public continues to closely track news about the environmental disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, few Americans say news organization are giving the oil leak too much coverage. The Gulf oil leak once again topped both public interest and media coverage last week, though the percent following the story […]

Jul. 8, 2010

Public Sees Economic News Turning More Negative

Summary of Findings Public perceptions of economic news have turned much more negative. Currently, 42% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy, the highest percentage in a year. Last month, 30% of the public said they were hearing mostly bad news about the economy. The proportion saying they are hearing a mix […]

Jun. 30, 2010

Public, Media Track Oil Leak, Diverge On McChrystal

Summary of Findings The public remained focused on the unfolding environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last week, while the media divided its attention between two top stories: the oil leak and controversial comments by Gen. Stanley McChrystal that led to his ouster as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. More than half of […]

Jun. 22, 2010

Public Reacts Positively To Extensive Gulf Coverage

Summary of Findings While the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has accounted for an overwhelming proportion of recent news coverage, most Americans say the press is giving the right amount of attention to the still-unfolding disaster. The latest News Interest Index survey conducted June 17-20 among 1,009 adults by the Pew Research Center […]

Jun. 16, 2010

Public Sees No Improvement in Economic News

Summary of Findings News about the economy has been overshadowed by the Gulf oil leak in recent weeks. And in the public’s view, the economic news has not improved. Currently, 65% say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy, while 30% say they are hearing mostly bad news and […]

Jun. 9, 2010

News Media Trusted For Information On Oil Leak

Summary of Findings The public expresses far more trust in the news media for information about the Gulf oil leak than it does in either the federal government or BP. Fully 67% say they have a lot (20%) or some trust (47%) in information on the oil leak coming from news organizations. That compares with […]

Jun. 3, 2010

Interest In Oil Spill Stays High As Coverage Grows

Summary of Findings As efforts to stop a major underwater oil leak faltered and President Obama traveled to Louisiana to assess the early damage, the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico grabbed public attention and dominated media coverage last week. More than half of Americans (55%) say they followed news about the oil leak very […]

May. 26, 2010

Public, Media Track Oil Spill, Diverge On Elections

Summary of Findings Americans stayed focused on the unfolding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last week, while the effort to cap the underwater well and limit the damage was one of two stories that dominated media coverage. The media devoted comparable levels of coverage to the spill and news about last week’s primaries […]

May. 19, 2010

Gulf Oil Leak Dominates Public’s News Interests

Summary of Findings As oil from an undersea well continued to flow into the Gulf of Mexico last week, Americans tracked the worsening environmental disaster much more closely than any other major news story. About half (49%) say this was the story they followed most closely. Press coverage was divided between the oil leak (17% […]

May. 12, 2010

Public Tracks Oil Spill, Media Focuses More On Times Square

Summary of Findings Americans tracked the worsening oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico more closely than other major news stories last week, while the media focused on both the underwater oil leak and the investigation into the attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square. A third of the public (33%) says they most […]

May. 5, 2010

Gulf Coast Oil Spill Grabs Public Attention

Summary of Findings As a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spread toward the Louisiana coastline last week, the public focused on the unfolding story of a potential environmental disaster. The spill dominated the public’s consciousness. It was the story people were most likely to say they talked about with friends. The percentage […]

Apr. 28, 2010

Economy, Volcanic Ash Top News Interest

Summary of Findings The public and the media focused on economic issues last week, with 24% of Americans saying they followed news about the economy more closely than other major stories. Another 9% say they followed news about proposals for stricter regulation of banks and financial institutions most closely. Americans also continued to closely track […]

Apr. 22, 2010

Health Care Still Top Story, But Many Track Volcano

Summary of Findings Americans say they followed news about the new health care law more closely than any other major story last week, but many also kept a close watch on the economy and the ash-spewing volcano in Iceland that disrupted international air travel. Though media coverage of the health care debate has dropped significantly […]

Apr. 14, 2010

Public Tracking Health Care, Deadly Mine Accident

Summary of Findings Americans continued to track news about the new health care law more closely than any other major story last week, though the media devoted the most attention to the deadly explosion in a West Virginia coal mine—and just 3% of coverage to health care reform. A third of the public (33%) says […]

Apr. 7, 2010

Public Remains Focused on Health Care Reform

Summary of Findings Americans say they tracked news about the newly enacted health care reform law more closely than other major news stories last week, though the health care debate did not dominate coverage as it had during the final votes in Congress late last month. Close to half the public (48%) followed news about […]

Mar. 31, 2010

Health Care Debate Tops Public Interest, Coverage

Summary of Findings The long-running debate over health care reform continued to dominate public attention and media coverage last week as the final skirmishes played out on Capitol Hill and President Obama set out to promote the newly-enacted law. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say they followed the health care debate more closely than any other […]