Newshounds still chasing the presidential election


Only one news narrative managed to command double-digit attention from America’s media companies during the week of 2/27-3/4, and that narrative was the battle for the White House, and in particular, the battle for the Republican nomination, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The presidential battle commanded 26% of the newshole. As usual, cable was the most interested in that particular story, but not to the usual extent – at 38%, it was within sight of the rest of the journalism world.

The spate of tornadoes that struck the Midwest and the continuing strife in the Middle East were among the other top stories, along with the tragic shooting at an Ohio public school, along with ongoing reporting on both the economy and health care.

One odd footnote to the week may have been reporting on the sudden death of Andrew Breitbart. Despite the fact that he was one of the pioneers of online ideologically-tinged journalism, his passing did not make the online top ten list. However, the story hit the cable chart with 2% and the radio chart – where he was a frequent talk show guest – with 6%.

Story Overall Newspaper Online NetTV CATV Radio
2012 presidential election 26% 22% 23% 20% 38% 24%
Midwest winter tornadoes 8% x 4% 14% 16% 4%
Middle East unrest 6% 9% 9% 6% 4% x
OH school shooting 6% x 8% 11% 7% x
Economy 6% 15% 5% x 2% 6%
Health care debate 6% 3% 3% 7% 8% 12%
Afghanistan 5% 3% 6% 3% 5% 10%
Iran 3% x 5% 4% 3% x
Terror threats/security 2% 3% 4% 3% x x
Russia 2% x x 4% x x
Iraq War events x 5% x x x x
2012 non-presidential elections x 3% x x x x
Education system x 3% x x x x
Energy debate x 3% x x x x
Disabled Italian cruise ship x x 4% x x x
Oscar Awards x x x 3% x x
Abortion controversy x x x x 2% x
Andrew Breitbart dies x x x x 2% 6%
European economy x x x x x 4%
NASA/shuttle missions x x x x x 3%
Gas/oil prices x x x x x 3%
Minimum wage increase x x x x x 2%
Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism