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 […]

Jul. 27, 2011

Debt Stalemate Top Story, But No Surge in Public Interest

With a deadline fast approaching and talk of serious economic consequences without congressional action, the standoff in Washington over raising the debt limit was the top story last week for both the public and the news media. Yet public interest in the federal budget deficit and national debt is not much higher than it […]

Jul. 19, 2011

Debt Limit Fight Tops News Interest, Coverage

The debate over raising the federal debt limit proved to be the public’s – and the media’s – top news story last week as the federal government neared a possible default and high level deficit-reduction talks produced no agreement. About three-in-ten (31%) say they followed the discussions about how to address the federal deficit […]

Jul. 13, 2011

Casey Anthony Verdict Top Story for Public and Social Networkers

Americans followed news about the verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial more closely than other top stories by a wide margin last week, but they also kept a watch on news about the nation’s struggling economy and the talks in Washington over raising the federal debt limit. Nearly four-in-ten (37%) say the Florida […]

Jul. 7, 2011

Interest in Campaign News On Par With 2007

Public interest in the presidential campaign is about as high as it was four years ago, despite the fact that only one party currently has a competitive nomination contest. And while the focus this year has been on the GOP’s race, Democrats express about as much interest in 2012 candidates as do Republicans. Overall, […]

Jun. 29, 2011

Economy, Afghanistan Top News Interest, Coverage

Americans focused most closely last week on news about the nation’s struggling economy and President Obama’s plans to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Two-in-ten (20%) say the economy was their top story, while 16% say they followed the discussions in Washington about troop levels in Afghanistan more closely than any other top story, […]

Jun. 22, 2011

Economy, Weiner Top Public’s News Interests

Americans last week followed news about the struggling economy and the resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner from Congress more closely than other top stories, while the early stages of the 2012 presidential election led news coverage for this first time this year. Two-in-ten (20%) say they followed reports about the condition of the U.S. […]

Jun. 15, 2011

Public Focused on Economy, Media on Weiner Scandal

Americans focused most closely last week on economic news amid continued reports about the weakness of the recovery, while the media gave the most coverage to the scandal involving New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. About a quarter of the public (23%) says the economy was their top story of the week, according to the […]

Jun. 8, 2011

Number Hearing “Mostly Bad” Economic News Highest Since March 2009

Following a series of downbeat reports about housing, jobs and the stock market, the public’s perceptions of economic news have turned much more negative. Fully 46% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the nation’s economy, up nine points since last month and the highest percentage since March 2009. Nearly as many now […]

Jun. 1, 2011

Midwest Tornadoes Top Story for Public and Press

The devastating tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest last week dominated the public’s news interest and received much more coverage than any other story. About half of the public (48%) says they followed news about the powerful tornadoes that struck Joplin, Mo., more closely than any other news last week. None of the week’s […]

May. 25, 2011

Public Stays with bin Laden Story; Media Focus Shifts

Americans continued to express strong interest in news about the death of Osama bin Laden and its ramifications last week, even as news coverage of the story continued to decline. About a quarter of the public  (27%) says they followed reports about the killing of bin Laden and its impact on U.S. relations […]

May. 18, 2011

Interest in bin Laden Now Tops News Coverage

Public interest in the killing of Osama bin Laden has declined since the week U.S. forces raided his compound in Pakistan. But news coverage of bin Laden’s death has fallen more precipitously. About a third of the public (32%) says they followed this news more closely than any other story last week, down from […]

May. 11, 2011

Death of bin Laden: More Coverage than Interest

While the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by U.S. military forces attracted a near-record amount of news coverage, public interest in the story has been comparatively modest. Just more than four-in-ten (42%) say they followed news about the Al Qaeda leader’s  killing more closely than any other news last week. One-in-five (20%) […]

May. 3, 2011

Too Much Coverage: Birth Certificate, Royal Wedding

Summary of Findings Majorities of Americans say news organizations focused too much last week on both the royal wedding in England and the release of the long-form version of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say the press gave too much coverage to the April 29 wedding in London of Prince William and Kate […]

Apr. 27, 2011

Modest Interest in Run-Up to Royal Wedding

Summary of Findings The public has expressed modest interest in the run-up to the royal wedding. And while news coverage of the royal wedding is now ramping up, nearly two-thirds of the public (64%) say they think it has gotten too much coverage. Just 8% say they followed news about the upcoming wedding of England’s […]

Apr. 20, 2011

Trump Most Visible Among Possible GOP Contenders

Summary of Findings Donald Trump has drawn a lot of attention in a slow-starting race for the GOP nomination. Roughly a quarter of all Americans (26%) name Trump as the possible Republican presidential candidate they have heard most about lately, far more than volunteer any other candidate. Among Republicans, 39% name Trump as most visible […]

Apr. 12, 2011

Public Follows Both Japan, Shutdown Fight Closely

  Summary of Findings The public divided its attention last week between two major stories: the aftermath of the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the budget battle in Washington that nearly led to a government shutdown. About a third say they followed news about the aftermath of the disasters in Japan (34%) or […]

Apr. 6, 2011

Public Sees Better News about Jobs, But Not Prices

Summary of Findings With the employment picture slowly improving in recent months, fewer Americans say they are hearing mostly bad news about the job situation. At the same time, perceptions of news about prices – especially gas prices – remain overwhelmingly negative. Currently, 43% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the job situation […]

Mar. 30, 2011

Public Stays Focused on Japan as Media Turns to Libya

Summary of Findings The public’s news interests this week are far out of sync with the news media’s coverage: While the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami was the public’s top story by a wide margin, news organizations devoted far more coverage to the military conflict in Libya. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) say they […]

Mar. 22, 2011

Most Are Attentive to News About Disaster in Japan

Summary of Findings News about the aftermath of the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan dominated the public’s news interest and media coverage last week. The crisis at Japan’s nuclear plants – far more than other aspects of the story – captured the most public interest. Fully 57% say they followed news about the aftermath […]