Election takes over half the newshole


We would not have been at all surprised to see saturation coverage of the presidential election during the week of 10/27/08-11/2/08. As it was, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the ongoing saga claimed 54% of total media coverage, and did saturate cable coverage as usual to the tune of 84% over on the cable channels.

The financial crisis story was second but gradually losing steam, with 13% of the overall news hole. After that, no one story could top 2%.

There was a smattering of focus on various Mideast and African locales, the Phillies v. the Rays in the World Series, and a couple of takes on Congress (elections, scandals). It will be interesting to see what a "normal" news coverage pattern looks like in a couple of weeks.

Story Overall Newspaper Online Net.TV CATV Radio
2008 campaign 54% 34% 38% 55% 84% 65%
Financial crisis 13% 19% 19% 14% 6% 11%
Congressional scandals 2% 2% 2% 4% 2% 2%
Events in Iraq 2% 4% 2% 2% 1% x
Hudson family killed 2% x 4% 3% x 1%
Baseball World Series 1% 3% 2% 1% x 1%
Afghanistan 1% 3% x x 1% x
Congo civil war 1% x 6% 1% x x
Pakistan 1% x 3% x x x
Congressional campaigns 1% 2% x 1% 1% 1%
Gas/oil prices x 2% x x x x
Anthrax case x 2% x x x x
Health care debate x 2% x x x x
University shooting in AR x x 2% x x 1%
US economy x x 2% x x 1%
US auto industry x x x 2% x 2%
Same sex marriage debate x x x 1% x x
Immigration x x x x 1% x
Domestic terrorism x x x x 1% x
Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac x x x x <1% x
Chinese product recalls x x x x <1% x
US airline industry x x x x x 1%

Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism