PublicationsJanuary 17, 2011

A Special Report on the Media and the Tucson Shooting

The January 8 Arizona assault stunned the nation and became one of the biggest stories in recent years. A PEJ analysis of mainstream and social media coverage and commentary reveals which element of the story made the most news, whether President Obama’s speech changed the narrative, how Sarah Palin was covered and how much attention the issue of gun control generated.   

PublicationsJanuary 10, 2011

A Beltway Realignment Tops the News

For much of last week, the dominant topic in the news was the installation of a new Congress as well as its impact on politics, public policy and the Obama administration. But over the weekend, an attack that occurred about 2,000 miles from Washington D.C. quickly commandeered the attention of the media and the nation.

PublicationsJanuary 3, 2011

Wild Winter Weather Tops the Web

The first big East Coast snowstorm of the winter season beat out the economy and domestic terrorism as the top story last week, according to a special web news edition of PEJ’s weekly News Coverage Index. And defeated Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, a magnet for media coverage during the 2010 campaign, returned to the spotlight, but not on the most flattering of terms.

PublicationsDecember 20, 2010

Tax Bill Drove the News Last Week

The economy topped the news for the sixth straight week, while a string of tragedies—the death of a top diplomat, the suicide of Bernie Madoff’s son, and the suicide of an unstable Florida gunman—also made headlines. And health care, after months of absence, returned to the news in a significant way.

PublicationsDecember 13, 2010

A Taxing Week Fuels Economic Coverage

The arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the death of Elizabeth Edwards both received substantial coverage, but it was the reaction to a compromise on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts that really galvanized the press last week.

PublicationsDecember 6, 2010

Taxes, Debt and Leaks Dominate the Week

There was a significant spike in coverage of the troubled U.S. economy last week as Washington seemed to start tackling some of the key issues more aggressively. And if Julian Assange wasn’t already a household word, the man famous for sharing U.S. secrets generated enormous attention with new revelations.

PublicationsNovember 29, 2010

Economy Again Tops the News

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism did not publishing a full Weekly News Index report for November 22-28, 2010. PEJ is, however, making the data available.

PublicationsNovember 22, 2010

With the Election Over, the Economy Tops the News

The state of the troubled U.S. economy, the old reliable of news stories, was the biggest topic in the news last week. But the media also focused on some new TSA screening techniques that seemed to poke and provoke some travelers. And continued coverage of the midterms focused on new power players in Washington.

PublicationsNovember 15, 2010

Another Bad News Week for Obama

Three stories topped the news last week—the economy, the aftermath of the 2010 midterms and the president’s trip to Asia—and all three involved narratives that were not positive for President Obama. The week’s other top stories included a cruise gone awry and a former president resurfacing on the media circuit to pitch his new book.

PublicationsNovember 9, 2010

Midterm Results are the Biggest Story in 2010

No other event or story generated much attention as the battle for Congress was finally resolved, accounting for more than half of last week’s coverage. Once the voters had spoken, the media pivoted from polls and predictions to post-mortems and projections about the new political landscape. And not surprisingly, President Obama was at the center of the narrative.