Weather makes a dent in campaign coverage


Technically, we suppose, the earthquake which rocked China cannot be considered a weather event, but it combined with the Myanmar cyclone and numerous lesser events to grab a significant share of the newshole during the week of 5/12/08-5/18/08, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. In fact, the folks at network television even elevated the earthquake above the campaign.

The 2% edge that story received in that one medium was not nearly enough to overcome the continuing election tunnel vision exhibited by cable TV, which bestowed 74% of its available time to the story and contributed to its overall 37% share. Click on the headline to see the chart.

Story Overall Newspaper Online Net. TV Cable TV Radio
2008 Campaign 46% 27% 29% 41% 75% 56%
Myanmar cyclone 15% 15% 31% 18% 6% 6%
US economy 5% 9% 6% 4% 1% 1%
Immigration 2% 6% x x 1% x
Gas/oil prices 2% 2% 3% 3% 1% 3%
Microsoft/Yahoo 1% 4% 2% x x x
Iraq events 1% 2% x 2% x x
Russia 1% x 3% x x x
Israel turns 60 1% 2% x x x x
Iraq homefront 1% x x 2% x 1%
Israel/Palenstein x 2% x x x x
AR/MO storms x 2% x x x x
Lebanon violence x x 2% x 1% x
North Korea nukes x x 1% x x x
Olympics x x 1% x x x
Austrian house/hostages x x 3% x x x
Kentucky Derby x x x 3% x 1%
Jenna Bush wedding x x x 2% 1% x
Philadelphia police beating x x x 1% x x
San Diego U. drug bust x x x 1% 2% x
Texas polygamy raid x x x x 1% x
Iraq policy x x x x 1% x
China x x x x x 2%
War on terror x x x x x 2%
Iran x x x x x 1%
Pakistan x x x x x 1%

Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism