PublicationsAugust 22, 2007

Two Decades of American News Preferences

PublicationsAugust 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 […]

PublicationsJune 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 […]

PublicationsJune 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 […]

PublicationsMay 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 […]

PublicationsApril 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 […]

PublicationsMarch 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 […]

PublicationsMarch 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 […]

PublicationsFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsDecember 20, 2006

What Was — and Wasn’t on the Public’s Mind

Once again, public opinion played a major role in the most important news stories of the year. Some of the strongest 2006 trends in public opinion carried over from previous years — notably growing concern about the Iraq war and mounting dissatisfaction with the performance of the Republican-controlled Congress. In the case of another continuing […]

PublicationsDecember 12, 2006

Baker-Hamilton Report Evokes Modest Public Interest

Summary of Findings Despite deep public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, the highly anticipated report by a bipartisan panel proposing new policy options for Iraq did not register strongly with most Americans. Only about half say they heard even a little about the report released last week by the Iraq Study Group led by James […]

PublicationsAugust 17, 2006

American Attitudes Hold Steady in Face of Foreign Crises

Summary of Findings The public is paying a great deal of attention to major overseas events – the reported terrorist plot against U.S. trans-Atlantic jet liners, the war in Lebanon, as well as the ongoing violence in Iraq. However, there is little indication that these dramatic stories have materially changed public attitudes. Worries about another […]

PublicationsJuly 30, 2006

Online Papers Modestly Boost Newspaper Readership

A decade ago, just one-in-fifty Americans got the news with some regularity from what was then a brand new source ­ the internet. Today, nearly one-in-three regularly get news online. But the growth of the online news audience has slowed considerably since 2000, particularly among the very young, who are now somewhat less likely […]

PublicationsFebruary 7, 2006

Iran a Growing Danger, Bush Gaining on Spy Issue

Summary of Findings Public concern over Iran’s nuclear program has risen dramatically in the past few months. Today, 27% of Americans cite Iran as the country that represents the greatest danger to the United States. In October, just 9% pointed to Iran as the biggest danger to the U.S., while there was far more concern […]

PublicationsDecember 27, 2005

What Was – and Wasn’t on the Public’s Mind…

Public opinion played a major role in the most important news stories of the year, from President Bush’s battle with an increasingly restive opposition, to the public’s mounting anxiety about the war in Iraq, to the sharp public rebuke of Congress for its intervention in the Terry Schiavo affair. Many of the strongest trends in […]

PublicationsOctober 25, 2005

Public Sours on Government and Business

Summary of Findings Americans express increasingly negative views of a wide range major institutions, reflecting strong discontent with national conditions. Over the past year, ratings have tumbled for the federal government and Congress. And it is not just Washington institutions that are being viewed less positively. Favorable opinions of business corporations are at their lowest […]

PublicationsJuly 19, 2005

Republicans Uncertain on Rove Resignation

Summary of Findings Only about half of the American public is paying close attention to news reports that White House aide Karl Rove may have leaked classified information about a CIA agent. But 39% of the public ­ and a solid majority of those closely following the reports (58%) ­ believe that Rove should resign […]

PublicationsJune 13, 2005

Iraq News Increases Calls for Troop Withdrawal

Summary of Findings The steady drip of negative news from Iraq is significantly undermining support for the U.S. military operation there. With the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq exceeding 1,700, there is widespread awareness of the rising American death toll. As a consequence, baseline public attitudes toward the war are gradually turning more […]

PublicationsApril 6, 2005

The Dean Activists: Their Profile and Prospects

Introduction Although former Vermont governor Howard Dean failed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, his campaign left a strong imprint on the political world. It assembled a network of over a half-million active supporters and contributors, raised over $20 million in mostly small donations online, and demonstrated the power of the internet as a networking […]

PublicationsFebruary 24, 2005

More Optimism on Iraq, But Most Expect Long U.S. Stay

Summary of Findings The public is more optimistic over the situation in Iraq as a result of that nation’s recent elections, but remains skeptical of the Bush administration’s decision to go to war. Moreover, the elections have not improved opinions of President Bush’s handling of Iraq. The survey, largely completed before the president’s European trip, […]