PublicationsOctober 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. […]

PublicationsOctober 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 […]

PublicationsOctober 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 […]

PublicationsOctober 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% […]

PublicationsSeptember 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 […]

PublicationsSeptember 23, 2009

No Increase in “Too Much” Obama Despite Media Blitz

Summary of Findings The number of Americans who say they are hearing too much about President Obama has not increased since mid-summer, despite the president’s high media visibility. Still, 37% say they are hearing too much about Obama. Since Labor Day, Obama has addressed a joint session of Congress about health care legislation, spoken to […]

PublicationsSeptember 16, 2009

Health Care Debate Seen as “Rude and Disrespectful”

Summary of Findings With public and media attention focused on President Obama’s Sept. 9 health care address to a joint session of Congress, Americans overwhelmingly cited the health care debate as their top story of the week. And when asked to evaluate the tone of the health care debate, a majority says it has been […]

PublicationsSeptember 8, 2009

Health Care Proposals Remain Hard to Follow

Summary of Findings Interest in the health care reform debate has remained extremely high throughout the summer and more than nine-in-ten Americans say the issue is important to them. Still, despite the public focus on health care news, two thirds continue to say the issue is hard to understand. With Congress returning from its August […]

PublicationsSeptember 3, 2009

Public Aware of Key Swine Flu Facts

Summary of Findings In a busy late summer news stretch, Americans continued to track news about the health care debate more closely than other major stories last week. The economy, the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and the strange case of a California woman rescued from long-time captors also vied for the public’s attention. […]

PublicationsAugust 26, 2009

Health Care Still the Summer’s Dominant Story

Summary of Findings Despite the emergence of several major international stories – including an election in war-ravaged Afghanistan and the release of the so-called Lockerbie bomber – the public continued to be focused on domestic news, particularly the ongoing debate over health care reform. Fully 45% say they followed health care developments more closely than […]

PublicationsAugust 20, 2009

Health Care Reform Closely Followed, Much Discussed

Summary of Findings Public interest in health care reform shows no signs of slackening, with news about the debate continuing to top the public’s news agenda. Fully 46% name health care as the story they followed more closely than any other last week – double the percentage who named the week’s second most closely followed […]

PublicationsAugust 12, 2009

News About Economy Seen as Less Dire, More Hopeful

Summary of Findings News about the economy and the debate over health care reform continue to dominate public attention. A growing proportion of Americans say they are hearing mostly good news about the economy, while the percentage saying the news is mostly bad has fallen since July. On health care, protests at contentious town hall […]

PublicationsAugust 6, 2009

Many Fault Media Coverage of Health Care Debate

Summary of Findings As the fight in Washington over health care reform continues to dominate public attention and media coverage, most Americans are critical of the way news organizations are explaining key elements of the debate. News about proposed health care legislation was the most closely followed story of last week, just as it had […]

PublicationsJuly 30, 2009

Health Care Front-And-Center on Public’s News Agenda

Summary of Findings The public sharpened its focus on health care reform last week, following news about the debate in Washington more closely than any other story. Interest in health care reform has steadily increased in recent weeks as coverage – including a prime-time presidential news conference – has intensified. Nearly a third (31%) name […]

PublicationsJuly 22, 2009

Health Care: Important, Interesting, But Hard to Follow

Summary of Findings The debate over revamping the nation’s health care system is drawing increased public attention. A third (33%) say they are following the health care debate very closely, up from 24% the previous week. And while news coverage of health care also increased over the past week, a sizable minority of Americans (45%) […]

PublicationsJuly 15, 2009

Americans Remained Focused on Michael Jackson

Summary of Findings The death of pop star Michael Jackson continued to grab public attention last week, with Americans saying it was the story they followed most closely for the third straight week. Moreover, Jackson’s death was by far the week’s most talked about news story. About three-in-ten (29%) say they followed Jackson’s memorial service […]

PublicationsJuly 8, 2009

Public Hearing More Negative News About Economy

Summary of Findings From January through May, a growing proportion of Americans said they were hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy. More recently, however, there has been a steady increase in the share saying that the economic news is mostly bad. Currently, 41% say they are hearing mostly bad news […]

PublicationsJuly 1, 2009

Coverage of Jackson’s Death Seen As Excessive

Summary of Findings The public closely tracked the sudden death of pop superstar Michael Jackson last week, though nearly two-in-three Americans say news organizations gave too much coverage to the story. At the same time, half say the media struck the right balance between reporting on Jackson’s musical legacy and the problems in his personal […]

PublicationsJune 24, 2009

Strong Public Interest in Iranian Election Protests

Summary of Findings The dramatic events in Iran last week captured the attention of both the public and the media as Americans tracked news about post-election protests in Tehran nearly as closely as they followed news about the troubled U.S. economy. Two-in-ten say they followed news about the street protests over disputed election results – […]

PublicationsJune 17, 2009

Employment News Seen As Overwhelmingly Bad

Summary of Findings Americans by a wide margin say they are hearing mostly negative news about the nation’s job situation, though they are more likely to sense a mix of good and bad news about other elements of the economy. With the jobless rate climbing, seven-in-ten (71%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about […]