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British prisoners run Iran back on top

The latest Project for Excellence in Journalism news coverage study found that the saga of 15 British sailors captured by Iran pulled top coverage during the first week of April and for the second week in a row. During the week of 4/1-6/07, it beat out 2008 campaign coverage by an overall margin of 13% to 10%. Iran was the top story for all four electronic media (online, network TV, cable and radio), all of which gave it a minimum of 16% of the news hole, up to 19%. The only reason it didn't dominate the overall chart is that newspaper coverage was a scant 2% of the available reporting space. The early-starting campaign story had an early version of the horse race aspect to discuss, as candidates reported the results of their Q1 2007 fundraising efforts. We should see a few more of those reports before any votes are counted. The biggest story to drop off the overall top ten list was the ongoing controversy over fired US attorneys, which had weighed in at 11% and the #2 slot the previous week. This time it made only two of the five top ten lists, with showings of only 2% and 3% - but it's expected to pick right back up mid-month when AG Alberto Gonzalez appears before a congressional committee to discuss the matter. And Anna Nicole Smith, whose autopsy propelled her to the #10 spot, did not make a return engagement to any of the top 10 lists this time around.

Top ten lists

Story

Overall

Newspr

Online

NetTV

CATV

Radio

Iran

13%

2%

17%

16%

17%

19%

2008 campaign

10%

8%

x

12%

15%

11%

Iraq policy

9%

5%

10%

5%

13%

15%

Global warming

5%

6%

6%

9%

x

6%

Pelosi Mideast trip

5%

x

8%

2%

6%

10%

Iraq events

4%

4%

9%

7%

1%

3%

Solomons tsunami

2%

x

11%

2%

x

x

Iraq homefront

2%

4%

x

3%

x

x

Immigration

2%

3%

x

1%

2%

x

US economic numbers

2%

3%

2%

x

x

2%

Afghanistan

x

2%

x

x

x

x

General Mideast

x

2%

x

x

x

x

General war on terror

x

x

3%

x

1%

1%

US attorney firings

x

x

2%

x

3%

x

FBI agent shot/NJ

x

x

2%

x

1%

x

Pet food recall

x

x

x

1%

3%

1%

NCAA basketball

x

x

x

x

x

1%


Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism






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