News Interest Index: Americans Remained Focused on Michael Jackson

  • July 15, 2009

The death of pop star Michael Jackson continued to grab public attention last week, with Americans saying it was the story they followed most closely for the third straight week. Moreover, Jackson's death was by far the week's most talked about news story. 

About three-in-ten (29%) say they followed Jackson's memorial service and the controversy surrounding his June 25 death more closely than any other major story last week. According to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted July 10-13 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, a quarter say they tracked Jackson news very closely. That's equal to the share that said they were following this story very closely one week earlier and down only slightly from 30% just after Jackson's death.
When people are asked what recent news story they have been talking about with friends, 43% mention Jackson's death. The economy ranks a distant second, mentioned by 18%, while several stories – including the resignation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – tie for third with 8% each. People could offer as many as three responses.

Read the full report Americans Remained Focused on Michael Jackson on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.