Talkers go wild over fires


Natural disasters, when they hit, frequently grab a significant share of the news hole, but as the analysts at the Project for Excellence in Journalism note in their report on talk subject matter for the week of 10/21-26/07, the topic doesn’t usually translate well to the talk format, since generally the only "villain" to be found is Mother Nature. But that didn’t hold true for Katrina and it isn’t holding true for the California wild fires. In fact, talkers on the left drew Katrina comparisons and talkers on both sides criticized attempts by the other to politicize the disaster. So the story, which pulled 38% of the news hole, also got 36% of the talk hole. Talkers elevated campaign 2008 from 9% to 14%, and elevated Iraq/Iran topics from a combined 13% to 16%.