Economy trumps two big developing stories


The new immigration law in Arizona and the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion each took 16% of available time and space in terms of news coverage during the week of 4/26/10-5/2/10, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. But that left them tied for third behind the ongoing saga of the economy, which grabbed 24% of the newshole.

There was a steep drop-off in coverage after the top three stories. The 2010 elections picked up 6%. After that there was health care at 3%, tornado tales at 2% and then 1% or less the rest of the way.

That left a lot of room for variety under the overall news radar. In general, news from abroad seemed to be edged off of the charts, with the UK elections leading the way and only smatterings of coverage coming from other locales.

Story Overall Newspaper Online NetTV CATV Radio
Economic crisis 24% 21% 33% 22% 21% 17%
Oil rig explosion 16% 13% 16% 24% 17% 13%
Immigration debate 16% 4% 10% 7% 29% 32%
2010 elections 6% 5% 4% 4% 10% 6%
Health care debate 3% 8% x 3% x 2%
Southern tornadoes 2% x 2% 4% 3% x
UK general election 1% 3% x 1% x x
Catholic abuse scandal 1% x x 6% x x
Obama administration 1% x x x 2% 1%
Education system 1% 5% x x x x
Pakistan x 3% x x x x
Russia x 2% x x x x
Mexican drug war x 2% x x x x
Domestic terrorism x x 2% x 1% x
China x x 2% x x x
WV mine disaster x x 2% x x 2%
Energy debate x x 1% x 1% 1%
Wal-Mart discrimination lawsuit x x 1% 2% x x
US Airline industry x x x 1% x x
Events in Iraq x x x x 1% x
Chicago teen violence x x x x 1% x
Apple news x x x x x 5%
Afghanistan x x x x x 1%

Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism