Talkers megaphone the news, then head elsewhere


Immigration was the top news story for the week of 6/24-29/07, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, filling 12% of the news hole in a scattered, no-one-big-story week. Immigration has been a popular topic for talkers in general and has become a signature issue for CNN's Lou Dobbs, so it should come as no surprise that the commentator class happily doubled the news focus, spending 24% of its time with it.

Talkers cherry picked a couple of other news topics, taking the latest UK terror plot from 6% to 12%, and VP Cheney from 5% to 9%. Then they edged toward the tabloid side, putting the spotlight on the wrestler murder/suicide, the tragic story of the woman in Ohio, and at #10, Paris Hilton. Campaign 2008 coverage, at 6%, was on par with its news interest.

Talkers also took time for some special interests, giving recent events concerning one of their own, Ann Coulter, 6% of the talk hole. And a Washington topic near and dear to talkers but unknown to most citizens, the Fairness Doctrine, picked up 4% of available time.