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 […]

Mar. 15, 2011

Strong Public Interest in Japan Disaster

Summary of Findings The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan late last week dominated the public’s news interest – and news media coverage – in the days following the March 11 disaster. Roughly half (52%) of the public say they very closely followed news about the massive earthquake off the northeast coast of Japan […]

Mar. 8, 2011

As Gas Prices Spike, More See Economic News as Bad

A growing awareness of bad news about gas prices has, at least for now, reversed Americans’ more positive perceptions of economic news in recent months. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy, up from 29% in February, according to the latest News Interest Index survey conducted March 3-6 among […]

Mar. 2, 2011

Rising Oil Prices Big News for American Public

Summary of Findings Both the public and the media focused last week on the increasing violence in Libya, but Americans also closely tracked news about a related concern – the impact the crisis in the Middle East is having on oil prices at home. About two-in-ten (21%) say they followed news about the rising price […]

Feb. 24, 2011

Global Trouble Spots Top Public’s News Interests

The public expresses far more interest in news from global hot spots, including Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea, than in news from many less troubled countries. And while most Americans express interest in what happens in Canada and Great Britain, far fewer are interested in developments from other traditional U.S. allies – notably France. […]

Feb. 23, 2011

Public Still Focused on Egypt as Coverage Fades

Summary of Findings The public’s interest in developments in Egypt remained high last week as the media focused increasingly on domestic debates over how to deal with the fiscal troubles facing many states and how to bring down the federal deficit. About a third of the public (32%) says they followed news about the situation […]

Feb. 16, 2011

Interest in Egypt News Surges as Mubarak Departs

Summary of Findings The sudden conclusion to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign in Egypt dominated both news coverage and the public’s news interest last week. Fully 48% say they followed news about Egyptian protests and Mubarak’s resignation more closely than any other story, far surpassing the week’s other stories. The news media devoted 39% of coverage […]

Feb. 9, 2011

Public Now More Focused on Egypt, but Coverage Far Surpasses Interest

Summary of Findings The public’s interest in news about the massive anti-government protests in Egypt surged last week, but did not keep pace with the growth in media coverage. About a third (32%) of the public says they followed news about the protests in Egypt very closely last week. That’s nearly double the 17% that […]

Feb. 1, 2011

Limited Public Interest in Egyptian Protests

Summary of Findings So far, the extraordinary anti-government protests in Egypt have drawn much more attention from the news media than from the American public. Only about one-in-ten (11%) cite news about protests in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries as the story they followed most closely last week. By contrast, more than three times […]

Jan. 26, 2011

Tucson Rampage Still Top Story for Public

Summary of Findings The public continued to show strong interest last week in news about the shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., though the story did not dominate media coverage as it had one week earlier. More than four-in-ten Americans (44%) say they followed news about the aftermath of the Jan. 8 shootings more closely than […]

Jan. 24, 2011

Most Intend to Watch Obama’s State of the Union

Summary of Findings Most Americans say they plan to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Still, a sizable majority sees the speech to Congress as no more important than in previous years. In the latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 20-23 among […]

Jan. 18, 2011

Arizona Rampage Dominates Public’s News Interest

Bipartisan Praise for Obama Memorial Speech

Jan. 12, 2011

Economic News Seen as Less Negative

Summary of Findings Though the new Congress convened in Washington last week, Americans focused most closely on news about the nation’s economy – until they heard about Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., that left six dead and a congresswoman fighting for her life. At that point, the shootings became the public’s top story. Before […]

Jan. 11, 2011

Press Coverage and Public Interest: Matches and Mismatches

Dec. 30, 2010

Public’s Top Stories of the Decade – 9/11 and Katrina

Summary of Findings The 9/11 terrorist attacks drew more public interest than any other story in the past decade. In October 2001, a month after the attacks, 78% said they were following news about the story very closely, up slightly from the week after the attacks (74%). The devastating hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast […]

Dec. 21, 2010

Top Stories of 2010: Haiti Earthquake, Gulf Oil Spill

Dec. 14, 2010

Tax Cut Deal Captures Public and Media Attention

Interest in WikiLeaks Down