Talkers stray from the headlines


Well, they strayed somewhat. Most weeks, since the Project for Excellence in Journalism has been tracking both news and talk show focus, the talkers tend to latch onto the biggest news stories and amplify them, giving them a much larger percentage of available time. That was true at the top of the chart for the week of 5/6-11/07. Iraq policy claimed 14% of the news hole, but that focus was only mildly enhanced by talkers, to 21%.

Talkers showed their independence by making Campaign 2008 #2 with 14%, compared to its #4/6% showing on the news. PEJ noted a dichotomy on other stories. Conservative talkers were interested in the NJ terror plot, propelling it to #3/8%, but the story was ignored by liberal talkers.

The opposite effect prevailed on the fired US attorney story, propelled to 4% of the talk hole almost exclusively from the left perspective. We note that Don Imus was still getting 3% of the talk hole, despite failing to appear on the top ten news list.