Feb. 24, 2010

Winter Olympics Tops Public’s News Interests

Summary of Findings Americans say they followed news about the Winter Olympics in Vancouver more closely than any other major news story last week. The Olympics also proved to be one of two stories people talked about most frequently with friends. The other was Tiger Woods’ televised apology for marital infidelities. About a quarter of […]

Feb. 17, 2010

Haiti, Snowstorms, Economy Vie for Public’s Attention

Summary of Findings Americans say they tracked the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news story last week, but they also kept a close watch on news about the U.S. economy and the powerful snow storms that hit the nation’s East Coast and South. Three-in-ten (30%) say they followed […]

Feb. 11, 2010

Press Gets Good Marks For Covering Toyota Troubles

Summary of Findings Americans continue to closely track news about the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti and the U.S. economy, paying less close attention to the fast-evolving story about serious safety problems with Toyota automobiles. Still, the public is quite laudatory of press coverage of the automaker’s problems. More than four-in-ten say they followed […]

Feb. 3, 2010

Public Focus Still on Haiti; Media Shifts to State of Union

Summary of Findings In a week when the media focused heavily on Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address and the state of the economy, Americans continued to track news about the earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news story. Four-in-ten say they followed news about the aftermath of the earthquake […]

Jan. 26, 2010

67% Now Doubt Health Care Bill Will Pass This Year

Summary of Findings Americans tracked the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news last week, but also kept a close watch on two intertwined stories: the fate of health care legislation in Washington and the outcome of last week’s special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Nearly half […]

Jan. 20, 2010

Haiti Dominates Public’s Consciousness

Summary of Findings Americans have been highly focused on the massive earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12. Not only is the disaster clearly the public’s top news story, fully 70% say it is the story they are talking about with friends. Overall interest in news about the Haiti earthquake is on par with interest in […]

Jan. 13, 2010

Public Stays with Health Care, Media Focuses on Terror

Summary of Findings The public and the media went their own ways on the news last week. The media kept up heavy coverage of the aftermath of the attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound jet on Christmas Day, while the public focused most closely on the health care debate in Washington. About a quarter (26%) […]

Dec. 29, 2009

Top Stories of 2009: Economy, Obama and Health Care

Summary of Findings The troubled economy and efforts to revamp the nation’s health care system dominated the public’s news interest in 2009. From the year’s start, Americans kept a close watch on the unfolding economic crisis, as well as Barack Obama’s efforts to grapple with the crisis while trying to make good on campaign promises. […]

Dec. 22, 2009

More Now Think Health Reform Bill Will Pass

Summary of Findings Americans continued to follow the health care debate more closely than any other news story last week, and the public sees the odds of a reform bill ultimately being passed increasing. In the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Dec. 18-21 among 1,018 adults nationwide, 61% say they think a health […]

Dec. 16, 2009

Public Closely Tracking Health Care Debate

Summary of Findings Americans followed the health care debate more closely than any other news story last week as Senate Democrats struggled to find a compromise that would allow them to move legislation through their chamber despite strong Republican opposition. About three-in-ten (31%) say the health care debate was the story they followed most closely, […]

Dec. 10, 2009

News Interest In Afghanistan Surges

Summary of Findings The public took a renewed interest in the war in Afghanistan last week as President Obama unveiled plans to send more troops there while vowing to start bringing them home in 2011. Still, as many people say they talked with friends about Tiger Woods’ troubles as Afghanistan. More than four-in-ten (43%) say […]

Nov. 25, 2009

Strong Interest in Health Care, Little Interest in Palin

Summary of Findings The debate over health care reform dominated the public’s news interests last week, even as other stories – including the furor over new mammogram guidelines and Sarah Palin’s book tour – vied for the news media’s attention. Fully 41% cite the health care debate as their most closely followed story of the […]

Nov. 19, 2009

Health Care Reform News Tops Public Interest

Summary of Findings The debate over health care reform was the news story followed most closely by the American public last week, though the media devoted more coverage to the investigation into the shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army base. About a quarter (27%) of the public say they followed news about health care […]

Nov. 11, 2009

Fort Hood Shootings Top Interest, Coverage

Summary of Findings The November 5 shootings at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas – which resulted in the death of 13 Americans – was the public’s top news story last week. News coverage of the tragedy was also high, with the national media devoting more attention to the story than to any other. […]

Nov. 5, 2009

Swine Flu Interest Outpaces Coverage

Summary of Findings For the second week in a row, Americans followed news about the swine flu and its vaccine more closely than any other news story – with public interest outpacing the amount of national media coverage devoted to the story. About three-in-ten (29%) name reports about the fast-spreading flu and its vaccine as […]

Oct. 29, 2009

Fox News Viewed as Most Ideological Network

Summary of Findings The Fox News Channel is viewed by Americans in more ideological terms than other television news networks. And while the public is evenly divided in its view of hosts of cable news programs having strong political opinions, more Fox News viewers see this as a good thing than as a bad thing. […]

Oct. 22, 2009

Most Say They Lack Background to Follow Afghan News

Summary of Findings In a week that saw passage of health care legislation by the Senate Finance Committee, news about health care reform remained front-and-center on the public’s news agenda, topping both public interest and news coverage. There also has been a sharp increase in the proportion of Americans saying they expect a health care […]

Oct. 15, 2009

Growing Interest in Swine Flu, Many See Press Overstating its Danger

Summary of Findings As the first vials of swine flu vaccine make their way into American communities, public interest in news about the disease is increasing. Nearly as many people now cite swine flu as their top news story of the week as mention the health care debate – the first time in several months […]

Oct. 8, 2009

Americans Following Health Care, Economic News

Summary of Findings The public continued to closely track news about health care reform last week, while the media divided its attention across a range of foreign and domestic stories. A third (33%) of the public says they followed the debate over health care reform more closely than other top stories last week, while 22% […]

Sep. 30, 2009

Media Less Influential in Views on Health Care, Economy Than on Other Issues

Summary of Findings The first week of fall brought little change to the public’s news agenda with the debate over health care reform continuing to top public interest. However, the news media play much less of a role in shaping views of health care reform and the economy – where personal experiences are an important […]