Afghanistan Tops the News
Coverage of the conflict in Afghanistan got a big boost last week after the WikiLeaks organization unearthed classified reports casting doubts on the prospects for U.S. success there. But in a balanced news week, a key ruling in the Arizona immigration battle, the departure of an embattled BP CEO and a sluggish economy shared the media’s attention.
An Altered BP Photo Leads the Blogosphere
Last week, a blogger’s discovery of a doctored BP photograph generated the most interest in the blogosphere. Next came a discussion of the changing news business triggered by a humorous column from a veteran journalist. On Twitter, users were most interested in tracking how social networking sites were faring. On YouTube, an airborne donkey drew the most hits.
Media Coverage of City Governments
As the media landscape shifts, where can people turn for coverage of local news subjects, particularly government and public affairs? A new study conducted by a team of Michigan State University researchers, examines 175 communities and finds the majority of news about local government still comes from newspapers. But in many cases it is weeklies not dailies providing the most coverage. PEJ offers a summary of their findings.
When Race Makes News
The forced resignation of USDA staffer Shirley Sherrod, which occurred after a misleading video portrayed her remarks at an NAACP gathering as racist, generated significant attention last week. Indeed, it was the fourth-biggest story involving race since PEJ began tracking media coverage in 2007. Which other stories in that time frame top the list?
Media, Race and Obama’s First Year
The fallout from the firing of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod and the one-year anniversary of the controversial arrest of African American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., have put race back in the news. How much coverage do African Americans receive? What role did race play in coverage of the Obama Administration? A new study examining media coverage of African Americans in the first year of the Obama presidency offers answers.
The Reconstruction of a Media Mess
The Shirley Sherrod saga started with a video posted online and ended with a flurry of finger pointing. In a special report, PEJ reconstructs a chronology of how the story reverberated around the media echo chamber before dramatically changing course. And this week’s News Coverage Index finds that the tale of the USDA employee prematurely forced out of her job was the No. 2 story in the news agenda.
Old and New Media Both Make News, but Economy Tops the Agenda
In a week in which economic news nearly hit a three-month high, cable talk shows were dominated by the resignation of a federal employee whose comments on race were taken out of context by a conservative website. Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico, the debate was about the merits of plugging the BP oil well with a “topkill” or a “bottom kill.”
Obama, Apple and an Oracular Octopus Lead the Social Media
Election-year politics and a noteworthy poll made up the hottest story in the blogosphere last week. Meanwhile on Twitter, a technology topic involving oft-scrutinized Apple topped the news agenda. And on YouTube, the most popular subject by far was Paul the octopus, the world-class World Cup handicapper.
Midterms in the Media Spotlight
The 2010 election cycle has been steadily gaining media attention as the elections draw closer. Races involving Washington insiders, tea party loyalists and surprise nominees—as well as speculation about a possible GOP takeover of the House of Representatives—have been among the key storylines. How has 2010 campaign coverage evolved this year and exactly who and what are making news?
With New Hope for Containment, the Gulf Spill Leads
After several weeks of decreasing coverage, the Gulf oil saga spiked upward last week amid news of possible success in stopping the flow. Coverage of a bill to regulate the financial sector, infighting among Democrats, violence and progress in Afghanistan and the death of a baseball mogul rounded out the roster of top stories.