Report

News Interest Index: Health Care Still the Summer's Dominant Story

  • August 26, 2009

Despite the emergence of several major international stories – including an election in war-ravaged Afghanistan and the release of the so-called Lockerbie bomber, the public continued to be focused on domestic news – particularly the ongoing debate over health care reform.  

Fully 45% say they followed health care developments more closely than any other story last week. That's about the same level as the previous week (46% most closely) and twice the percentage that say they followed reports about the condition of the economy most closely (21%).

Using a slightly different measure, half say they very closely followed news about the economy (50%) or the health care debate (49%), according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted August 21-24 among 1,003 adults for the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Several significant events overseas attracted far less attention.

Nearly a quarter (23%) say they very closely followed news about Scotland's release of a terminally-ill Libyan imprisoned for his role in the bombing of a flight that exploded over  Lockerbie in 1988; 6% say this was the story they followed most closely. Another quarter say they very closely followed news about the current situation and events in Iraq; 4% say this was the story they followed most closely. A smaller share (14%) say they followed the presidential election in Afghanistan very closely; 3% say this was the story they followed most closely.

Read the full report Health Care Still the Summer's Dominant Story on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.