News Interest Index: Week's Major News Stories Draw Different Audiences

  • June 11, 2009

Americans divided their attention among several major stories last week as President Obama reached out to the Muslim world in a major speech, a jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection. At the same time, they continued to keep a close watch on news about the troubles facing the U.S. economy.

Not surprisingly, different groups showed greater interest in certain stories. For example, older Americans, the better educated, women and Democrats were more likely than others to say they followed Obama's speech in Cairo more closely than any other major story last week.

The General Motors developments, meanwhile, attracted more interest among men, especially those 50 and older, and Republicans, while the horrific news about the jet crash off the coast of Brazil was followed more closely by women under 50 and the more affluent.

Meanwhile, the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted June 5-8 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, shows that interest in news about the U.S. economy remained strong across most groups. About two-in ten (22%) say they followed economic news more closely than other major stories.

Read the full report Week's Major News Stories Draw Different Audiences on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.