News Interest Index: China Olympics Earn American Attention, Approval Gold Medal

  • August 14, 2008

The China Olympics are catching on with the American public and attracting a sizeable news audience. A majority of Americans say they are watching at least some of the Olympic coverage. Public interest in the Beijing games is comparable to that of the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney; yet substantially lower than when the games were held in Atlanta in 1996. Moreover, Americans' early skepticism about whether it was a good idea to hold the games in China has waned.

The number saying it was a "bad decision" to hold the Olympics in China has fallen to 31%, down from 43% in Pew's Global Attitudes Survey conducted in April, which showed Americans to be among the most negative about the games taking place in Beijing among the 23 nations surveyed at that time. Meanwhile, the share saying it was a "good decision" has risen 11 points to a slim 52% majority.

Read the full report China Olympics Attract Considerable Public Attention on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.