PublicationsJune 11, 2009

Week’s Major News Stories Draw Different Audiences

Summary of Findings Americans divided their attention among several major stories last week as President Obama reached out to the Muslim world in a major speech, a jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection. At the same time, they continued to keep a close watch on news about the […]

PublicationsJune 4, 2009

First Impressions of Sotomayor Mostly Positive

Summary of Findings Americans who have learned at least a little about Judge Sonia Sotomayor are more likely to offer traits or aspects they like about President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee than things they do not like about the federal appellate court judge from New York. Asked if there was anything they have learned […]

PublicationsMay 28, 2009

Public Tracks Economy, Media Focuses on Terror Debate

Summary of Findings Americans continued to closely track news about the struggling economy and the spread of the swine flu last week, though the media devoted the largest share of coverage to the sharp debate in Washington over how best to protect the nation from terrorism. About a quarter of the public (24%) says they […]

PublicationsMay 20, 2009

Public Stays Focused on the Economy

Summary of Findings Americans followed reports about the U.S. economy more closely than other major stories last week as President Obama pushed for new restrictions on the credit card industry and automakers announced plans to cut ties with some 1,900 dealerships nationwide. More than four-in-ten (44%) say they followed economic news very closely, according to […]

PublicationsMay 13, 2009

Public Sees News About Economy Less Glum

Summary of Findings Most Americans say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the U.S. economy, a stark change from the start of the year when a sizable majority said they were hearing mostly bad economic news. The latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted May 8-11 by the Pew Research […]

PublicationsMay 6, 2009

Local TV A Top Source For Swine Flu News

Summary of Findings Americans tracked news about the fast-moving swine flu virus more closely than any other story last week, with most turning to television for details on its spread. Still, when people were asked to name which information source was most useful, the largest share chose the internet. The latest weekly News Interest Index […]

PublicationsApril 29, 2009

Public Sees Too Much Personal Coverage of Obama

Summary of Findings Most Americans say that the news media has devoted too much coverage to Barack Obama’s family and personal life during his first months as president, but the right amount of coverage to his leadership style and his policy proposals. The latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted April 24-27 by the Pew […]

PublicationsApril 22, 2009

Fox News Stands Out as “Too Critical” of Obama

Summary of Findings When Americans are asked to assess television news coverage of Barack Obama, Fox News Channel stands out from other networks for being too critical of the president. Nearly three-in-ten (29%) select Fox when asked which of six broadcast and cable news networks have been too critical of the new Democratic president, a […]

PublicationsApril 15, 2009

Most Now Say News Paints Mixed Economic Picture

Summary of Findings The proportion of Americans saying they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy – rather than mostly bad news – continues to steadily increase. Currently, 56% say they are hearing a mix of good and bad economic news, up from 46% in March and just 19% last […]

PublicationsApril 8, 2009

Obama’s Trip Closely Followed

Summary of Findings Americans tracked President Obama’s first European trip more closely than other major news stories last week and much more closely than George W. Bush’s first year international summit travels in 2001. A quarter say they followed Obama’s trip and meetings with foreign leaders very closely, while 35% say they followed the trip […]

PublicationsApril 2, 2009

Little Sign of Obama Fatigue

Summary of Findings No one has gotten more media coverage and attention in recent months than Barack Obama, but only about a third of Americans (34%) say they are hearing too much about the nation’s new president. More than half (54%) say they are hearing the right amount about Obama as he works to put […]

PublicationsMarch 25, 2009

Strong Interest in AIG, Positive Views of Congress’ Response

Summary of Findings The controversy over the millions of dollars in bonuses paid to AIG employees attracted considerable public interest last week. In fact, about as many people tracked that story very closely (50%) as followed news about the overall economy very closely (52%). The AIG controversy was the most closely followed story of the […]

PublicationsMarch 18, 2009

Public Sees More of a Mix of Good and Bad Economic News

Summary of Findings After months of bleak economic news, an increasing proportion of Americans now say they are hearing a mix of good and bad economic news, while fewer say they are hearing mostly bad news. As has been the case for the last few months, very few say they are hearing mostly good news […]

PublicationsMarch 12, 2009

Many Would Shrug if Their Local Newspaper Closed

Summary of Findings As many newspapers struggle to stay economically viable, fewer than half of Americans (43%) say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot.” Even fewer (33%) say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper a lot if it were no longer available. Not unexpectedly, those […]

PublicationsMarch 5, 2009

States’ Budget Woes Register With Public

Summary of Findings With Americans closely tracking news about the struggling economy, most are aware of the impact the recession is having on state and local budgets and the burgeoning federal deficit. A majority (57%) says they have heard “a lot” about worsening state and local budget problems as governments at all levels struggle to […]

PublicationsFebruary 26, 2009

Many Say Government on Right Track on Economy

Summary of Findings One month into President Obama’s administration, Americans on balance say the government is on the right track in the way it is handling the nation’s difficult economic problems. Nearly half (47%) says the government is on the right track in the way it is handling economic problems, while about a third (34%) […]

PublicationsFebruary 19, 2009

Most Feel a Personal Stake in Tracking Economic News

Summary of Findings Americans continue to follow news about the economic crisis closely because they feel it is directly relevant to their lives. More than eight-in-ten (85%) say even when the economic news is bad they feel better knowing what’s going on, while 77% say they need to stay on top of economic news because […]

PublicationsFebruary 11, 2009

Stimulus News Seen As More Negative Than Positive

Summary of Findings As the contentious debate over President Obama’s $800 billion economic stimulus plan played out in Congress over the past week, more Americans were hearing bad things than good things about the legislation. Close to half (48%) of the public says that what they were reading and hearing about the plan in the […]

PublicationsFebruary 4, 2009

Policy Issues Overshadow Personal Stories in Obama’s First Weeks

Summary of Findings The public focused much more on President Obama’s major policy proposals and decisions than on lighter, more personal stories about the new president and his family in the early days of his administration. Nearly seven-in-ten Americans (69%) say they heard a lot about Obama’s push for quick action on his economic stimulus […]

PublicationsJanuary 28, 2009

Inauguration Outdraws Interest in Economy

Summary of Findings The public paid very close attention to the inauguration of Barack Obama as president last week, while keeping a close eye on the nation’s troubled economy. More than four-in-ten (42%) Americans say the inauguration of the nation’s first black president was the news story they followed most closely. By comparison, 25% say […]