The Economy Leads, but Politics Lurks
Bad economic news became a political story last week as analysts evaluated the impact on President Obama’s fortunes. Sarah Palin’s bus tour drew as much attention as Mitt Romney’s presidential announcement with the campaign generating its highest level of coverage yet. And two political scandals provoked much speculation and one indictment.
A Heartland Tragedy Seizes the News Agenda
The latest outbreak of violent spring storms proved to be the biggest weather story in PEJ’s four years of tracking news coverage. An election in New York State turned into a major economic story and the prospect of a Palin candidacy helped drive coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign last week.
DSK Arrest Leads the News, but Politics Looms Large
It was a diverse news week that started off with the arrest of the IMF chief, but ended with the media focused on strained U.S.-Israel relations and the problems with the GOP presidential field. Meanwhile, attention to the aftermath of the bin Laden raid continued to diminish dramatically.
Bin Laden Coverage Still Leads but the Narrative Changes
The fallout from the killing of Osama bin Laden continued to generate the most attention of any story in the mainstream media last week, though coverage fell off substantially. On cable news, where politics often dictates news agenda, the level of attention varied widely: CNN devoted the most attention to the story and Fox gave it the least.
Osama bin Laden’s Death Continues to Dominate the News
The killing of Osama bin Laden accounted for more than two-thirds of all news coverage last week as the media spent much of it trying to piece together exactly what happened in that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. And that proved to be an ever-changing and evolving narrative.
Tornadoes Lead News in Days Before Bin Laden Death
A natural disaster at home, a royal wedding abroad and the release of a birth certificate were all among the big news-making events from April 25-May 1. News about the economy and violence in the Middle East vied for attention too. But all that changed abruptly in the week’s waning hours.
Trump Pushes the 2012 Race into the News
The fighting in the Mideast, and especially Libya, topped the news last week, narrowly ahead of the U.S. economy. But perhaps the most interesting development was the emergence of the presidential campaign as a major story—thanks in large part to one controversial candidate-in-waiting.
Media Look to Obama in Deficit Debate
For a second week in a row, the media focused on the economy and away from foreign affairs. Last week, driven by a Presidential speech, the government shutdown was replaced with a larger debate about national fiscal priorities. Lurking in the background was the 2012 presidential race, a story that gave tycoon and Obama birth certificate skeptic Donald Trump a platform of his own.
The Shutdown Drama Drives the News
The media narrative moved from overseas to the Beltway last week as budget battles trumped press interest in Libyan fighting and Japanese nuclear worries. The question is whether a long run of dominant international news will now give way to ongoing coverage of domestic concerns.
Libya Drives the News as Concerns Grow
In a week in which the president defended his Libya policy to the American public, the Middle East again topped the news agenda. But coverage of that subject and the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake tailed off a bit last week as both crises defied any quick resolution.