The debate over what to do next in Iraq thoroughly dominated the news landscape last week, according to the PEJ News Coverage Index.
In the second week of the new year (January 7-12, 2007) Iraq policy filled 34% of the overall newshole and was the top story in all five media sectors - newspapers, online, network TV, cable and radio. That was followed by events in Congress and Somalia, and two other Iraq-related stories, but none of these even reached double digits in the main Index.
In a week of deadly serious events, there was still a California-sized helping of celebrity journalism as well. The Malibu wildfires were the sixth-biggest story largely because one of the destroyed homes belonged to "Three's Company" star and ThighMaster pitchwoman Suzanne Somers. That overshadowed an event that affected millions more Californians, the unveiling of Governor Schwarzenegger's $12 billion health care plan, which finished in tenth place. (The health care story was even topped by news that fabulously famous British soccer star and Posh Spice husband David Beckham had accepted an Alex Rodriguez-like $250 million to play in Los Angeles. Beckham was the seventh biggest story, with cable paying the most attention.)
Read the full article and view charts on the Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.