Libya Dominates the News as U.S. Enters the War
Libya traded places with Japan as the top storyline in the news last week as the media scrambled to cover two international crises at once. The biggest domestic news story, meanwhile, was the death of a Hollywood icon.
The Media Careen from Radiation in Japan to War in Libya
Fire and fallout at a Japanese nuclear plant made the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake one of the biggest stories recorded by PEJ in the past four years. But by the end of the week, U.S. military action in Libya surpassed every other event, including Japan, in the news agenda.
A Furious Week Ends in Disaster
Continued fighting in Libya and the union faceoff in Wisconsin fueled the No. 1 and No. 2 stories overall last week. But the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday March 11 quickly overwhelmed every other story—including a controversial hearing on Islamic terrorism.
A Shifting Libya Narrative is No. 1
The violence in Libya and the political standoff in Wisconsin continued to drive the news agenda last week while a potential government shutdown and a significant health care development got about the same attention as the misadventures of a troubled actor.
Libya on the Brink Leads the News
First it was Egypt, then Bahrain and last week, Libya as the media focused on yet another country in the rolling and roiling season of Mideast revolution. Back at home, the faceoff between pro-union forces and Wisconsin’s Republican governor fueled coverage of the week’s second-biggest story.
From Madison to Manama, a Week Filled with Protests
The unveiling of the president’s fiscal blueprint as well as a fight over budget priorities in Wisconsin helped push coverage of economic issues to the top of the news agenda last week for the first time in two months. And the media turned their attention away from Egypt to neighboring nations.
The Fall of Mubarak and the Media
The story from Egypt seemed to ebb and then peak last week, leading to a rush of coverage once the demonstrations turned into a successful revolution. No other story came close to generating that level of coverage last week. Now comes the hard part—understanding what will happen after Hosni Mubarak.
Events in Egypt Trigger Record Coverage
A history-making blizzard, major developments in the health care debate and a new set of unemployment numbers all made news last week. But they were overwhelmed by the situation in the Mideast. The dramatic events in Egypt set a new high water mark for international coverage.
First a Speech, then an Uprising, Dominate the News
If President Obama expected his State of the Union address to dominate the media narrative last week, those plans went awry when turmoil in a crucial Mideast ally threatened to remake the region and challenge U.S. strategy. And while coverage of the economy picked up last week, attention to the Tucson shooting plunged.
The Tucson Story Fades, but Still Leads
Attention to the health of both Gabrielle Giffords and civic discourse helped fuel continuing coverage of the Tucson shooting spree last week. Some White House summitry, hard times for state treasuries and another round in the legislative battle over health care reform also generated significant coverage.