Sense of finality in primary race leads the news


To many of us, the emergence of Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for president in 2012 seemed a foregone conclusion. Now, the exit of Rick Santorum from the race has elevated it to conclusion pure and simple, and according to the latest Project for Excellence in Journalism report, it made the 2012 presidential election the #1 new story for the week of 4/2-4/8.

The election narrative grabbed a 22% share of a busy newshole. While that is not at all an earth-shattering number, it was the only story to make it into double digits.

The folks doing their journalism online had four stories in double-digit territory – in addition to the election, which got 21% online, there were three all getting 10%, and they were the #2, #3 and #4 story overall: health care debate, economy, and Trayvon Martin shooting, in that order.

Although the election was the universal #1 pick for all five media surveyed, cable and radio resumed their tendency to pay special attention, giving the story 34% and 31% of their attention respectively.


Story Overall Nwspr Online NetTV CATV Radio
2012 presidential election 22% 15% 21% 12% 34% 31%
Health care debate 8% 7% 10% 8% 7% 10%
Economy 8% 10% 10% 6% 6% 7%
Trayvon Martin shooting 7% x 10%   10% 7%
DFW area tornadoes 4% x 3% 8% 7% 3%
Middle East unrest 4% 3% 5% 4% 2% 5%
VA Beach Navy jet crash 3% x 2% 2% 9% x
Oikos U. shooting 2% x 3% 2% x x
Record Mega Millions lottery 2% x x 5% x x
Iran 2% 5% x x 2% x
Education system x 5% x x x x
Afghanistan x 5% x x x x
China x 3% x x x x
SCOTUS actions x 3% x x x x
2012 non-presidential elections x 2% x x x x
NCAA basketball x x 4% x x x
Mumbai terror attacks x x 2% x x 2%
Head of GSA resigns x x x 3% x 2%
NFL bounty system x x x 2% x x
N.Amerian leader’s summit x x x x 4% x
Abortion controversey x x x x 2% x
Augusta Natl membership x x x x x 3%
European economy x x x x x 2%
Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism