Dec. 21, 2011

2011: A Year of Big Stories Both Foreign and Domestic

The threat of nuclear disaster in Japan and the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs were two of the breaking news stories that captured the greatest amount of public attention in 2011. But Americans also kept a steady watch on the economy at home. More than half said they followed news about […]

Dec. 13, 2011

Public Focuses on Elections, Economy and Penn State

The latest allegations in the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University rivaled news about the 2012 elections and the economy for the public’s attention last week. About two-in-ten (19%) say news about the candidates for the 2012 presidential elections was their top story, while 18% each say they followed news about the […]

Dec. 7, 2011

Many Fewer Hearing Mostly Bad Economic News

The number of Americans hearing mostly bad news about the economy has fallen 12 points over the past month and 31 points since fears of a new recession intensified in August. Currently, 56% say the news they are hearing about the economy is a mix of good and bad, while 36% say the news […]

Nov. 22, 2011

Deficit ’Super Committee’ Draws Little Attention

 Overview Few Americans (17%) paid very close attention to news about the congressional “super committee” last week as the panel approached its deadline to agree on a plan to cut federal spending and reduce the national deficit. Another 24% say they followed news about the super committee fairly closely. Most (58%) followed news about the […]

Nov. 15, 2011

Fewer Hearing Mostly Bad News about Economy

The Penn State child sex abuse scandal topped the public’s news interest last week, but Americans also continued to closely track news about the nation’s economy. The public’s perceptions of economic news, which took a decided downturn in August, are much less negative today. Currently, 48% say they are hearing mostly bad news about […]

Nov. 9, 2011

Campaign News Draws More Coverage than Interest

Public interest in the presidential campaign showed no increase this week, despite the news media’s increasing coverage of sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain. About one-in-five Americans (22%) say they followed news about the 2012 candidates very closely, little changed from a week earlier (21%), according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, […]

Nov. 2, 2011

Public Closely Tracking Economic and Political News

A combination of intertwined economic and political stories topped the public’s news interest last week. No single story dominated Americans’ attention. Nearly two-in-ten (17%) say reports about the condition of the economy was their top story, while 14% cite news about the candidates for president in 2012 as the story they followed most closely. […]

Oct. 26, 2011

Modest Interest in Gadhafi Death, Iraq Withdrawal

Americans divided their attention last week among several breaking news stories – from the death of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya to the release of dozens of dangerous wild animals in Ohio to the announced withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq– while still keeping a close watch on news about the nation’s economy. No single […]

Oct. 19, 2011

Growing Attention to Wall Street Protests

The public focused most closely last week on two interrelated news stories – the nation’s struggling economy and the anti-Wall Street protests that have now spread far beyond their beginnings in New York City. Two-in-ten (20%) say their top story was reports about the condition of the U.S. economy. That’s about the same as […]

Oct. 12, 2011

Wall Street Protests Receive Limited Attention

Americans continued to closely track news about the nation’s struggling economy last week, and paid only modest attention to a fast- growing media story – the anti-Wall Street protests in New York and other cities. About a quarter (27%) say news about the condition of the U.S. economy was their top story, while just […]

Oct. 5, 2011

GOP Candidates Hardly Household Names

As in previous Republican presidential campaigns, most Americans (54%) are able to name at least one of the GOP candidates unprompted. However, smaller percentages name the leading candidates than in previous Republican races. Just 28% name Texas Gov. Rick Perry and 27% name former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. At this point in the race […]

Sep. 28, 2011

Economy Again Top Story for Public and News Media

Amid continued uncertainty at home and abroad, economic news was once again the top story last week for both the public and the news media. Three-in-ten (31%) say they followed news about the condition of the U.S. economy more closely than any other news last week, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index […]

Sep. 21, 2011

Economic Stories Top Public Interest and Coverage

Amid continued worries about the health of the nation’s economy and persistent unemployment, the debate in Washington over President Obama’s jobs legislation topped the public’s news interest last week. Nearly a quarter of the public (23%) says they followed the back and forth over Obama’s proposal more closely than any other news last week, […]

Sep. 13, 2011

9/11 Commemorations Capture Public Attention

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks topped the public’s news interest last week, but Americans also continued to closely track news about the nation’s struggling economy. About a quarter (27%) say they followed coverage of the solemn 9/11 anniversary more closely than any other news. Nearly as many (23%) say they […]

Sep. 7, 2011

Irene Aftermath Top Story for Public, Media

The aftermath of Hurricane Irene was the top story for the public and the media last week, as flooding worsened in many East Coast states well after the storm winds had died down. More than a third of the public (36%) say that the impact of the hurricane was the news they followed most […]

Aug. 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene Top Story for Public

 Overview Hurricane Irene was the public’s top news story last week in a busy seven days that included an unusual and widely-felt East Coast earthquake and major developments in Libya. About four-in-ten (41%) say that Irene was the news story they followed most closely last week, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, […]

Aug. 23, 2011

Troubled Economy Top Story for Public and Media

Americans focused most closely last week on news about the nation’s troubled economy amid concerns about the stalled recovery and fears of a possible new recession. About four-in-ten (42%) say they followed reports about the condition of the U.S. economy more closely than any other news. That is three times the number saying their […]

Aug. 17, 2011

Deadly Afghanistan Crash Tops Public’s News Interest

News about the crash of a military helicopter in Afghanistan that killed 30 Americans last week refocused public attention on the long-running war there. About a quarter of the public (27%) says they followed news about the troop deaths in Afghanistan – which included members of the elite force that killed Osama bin Laden […]

Aug. 10, 2011

Number Hearing Mostly Bad Economic News Soars

Negative views of economic news have risen sharply since last month and now stand at their highest level in well more than two years. Fully 67% say they are hearing “mostly bad” news about the economy, up 18 points in the last month alone and more than 40 points since the start of 2011. […]

Aug. 2, 2011

Attention to Debt Debate Grew Steadily in July

The tense negotiations in Washington over legislation to cut the federal deficit and raise the nation’s debt limit topped the public’s news interest and the media’s coverage for the third consecutive week. Four-in-ten (40%) say they followed news about the debt debate more closely than any other news last week, while the fight’s various […]