PEJ News Coverage Index: Sept. 21 - 27, 2009, For a Change, Foreign Policy Drives the News

  • September 22, 2009

After a summer during which health care and the economic crisis dominated media attention, last week international events and crises took center stage in what proved an unusually balanced news agenda.

A gathering of leaders at the United Nations, an event marked by headline-making speeches from leaders as diverse as President Obama and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was the No. 1 story from September 21-27, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. It filled 10% of the newshole in PEJ's weekly News Coverage Index. Two other major global issues also made the roster of top-five stories last week, one of the rare weeks this year that foreign news played such a large part of the narrative.

The third-biggest story, (9%) was Afghanistan, with coverage fueled by the leak of a crucial assessment from the top U.S. commander calling for more troops. The fifth-biggest story (at 8%), was the intensifying showdown with Iran. (In that case, the big news was the surprise announcement by U.S., French and British leaders identifying a secret nuclear facility inside Iran.)

Read the full report For a Change, Foreign Policy Drives the News on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.