PublicationsMarch 6, 1998

Straight News as a Percentage of Stories, by Medium

Traditional topics (Government, Military, Domestic Affairs and Foreign Affairs) lost space to Feature topics (Entertainment, Lifestyle, Celebrity Crime) in the news media between 1977 and 1997.

PublicationsMarch 6, 1998

Changing Definitions of News

Between 1977 and 1997, the percentage of "straight news" stories that simply described events dropped, and the percentage of stories that emphasized a distinct narrative theme from the journalist framing the event increased. 

PublicationsMarch 6, 1998

Subjects of Front Page Newspaper Stories, by Year

Newspaper front pages grew less focused on Government and Foreign Affairs between 1977 and 1997, while they devoted more space to Domestic Affairs and Crime.

PublicationsMarch 6, 1998

Emphasis of Front Page Newspaper Stories, by Year

Straight news declined sharply as the emphasis of newspaper front page stories between 1977 and 1997.

PublicationsFebruary 18, 1998

Sourcing of Top Allegations

During the Lewinsky saga “named sources” were not widely used in attribution on key points. “Named sources” made up more than 50% of attribution only on the topic of President Clinton’s denials.

PublicationsFebruary 18, 1998

Attribution and Sourcing by News Genre

Newspapers and Nightline did the best job of using named sources in their reportage curing the Clinton-Lewinsky saga. Nightly talk shows cited named sources the least.

PublicationsFebruary 18, 1998

The Clinton Crisis and the Press

>From the earliest moments of the Clinton crisis,the press routinely intermingled reporting with opinion and speculation–even on the front page–according to a new systematic study of what and how the press reported. The study raises basic questions about the standards of American journalism and whether the press is in the business of reporting facts or something else.

PublicationsFebruary 18, 1998

Sources and Attribution for All Reporting

Only 1% of all the stories PEJ examined during the Clinton-Lewinsky saga used two or more named sources. Stories featured only one anonymous source 8% of the time.