Afghanistan, economy dominate news coverage


All five media measured by the Project for Excellence in Journalism agreed that during the week of 11/30/09-12/6/09, the top two stories were Afghanistan and the economy, in that order. Overall, Afghanistan got almost twice the coverage as the #2 story.

The other member of the trio of stories that have been routinely atop the PEJ charts of late is health care – this time, it dropped to #5 as Tiger Woods and the White House party crashers stepped forward to grab the #3 and #4 slots.

Newspaper editors almost seemed like they were on a parallel planet for the week, giving 3% or 2% coverage to no less than four topics that didn’t make it onto the top ten chart of any other medium.

Two of the media, Network TV and Cable TV, became the news this week, in the form of coverage of the Comcast/NBCU deal, which made the PEJ chart with an overall rating of 2%. Ironically, it appeared on the NetTV chart with only 1% coverage and was not on the cable chart at all. However, online news sources devoted 6% of space to the story, and radio chipped in another 3% of available news time.

Story Overall Newspaper Online NetTV CATV Radio
Afghanistan 27% 24% 22% 31% 33% 26%
Economic crisis 14% 16% 14% 13% 13% 15%
Tiger Woods 6% x 7% 10% 7% 7%
White House crashers 6% x 4% 10% 8% 5%
Health care debate 5% 8% 3% x 7% 4%
Washington State police shootings 4% 2% 6% 8% 4% 3%
Amanda Knox trial 2% x x 4% 6% x
Global warming 2% 2% 4% x 2% 3%
Pakistan 2% x 4% x 2% 4%
Comcast/NBC deal 2% x 6% 1% x 3%
Holiday season x 3% x x x x
Cyberspace issues x 3% x x x x
Same sex marriage debate x 3% x x x x
Taxes x 3% x x x x
Iran x 2% 4% x x x
Mammogram recommendations x x x 1% 2% x
Honduras coup x x x 1% x x
Obama administration x x x 1% x x
Van Jones controversy x x x x x 3%

Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism