News Interest Index: Americans Following Health Care, Economic News

  • October 08, 2009

The public continued to closely track news about health care reform last week, while the media divided its attention across a range of foreign and domestic stories.

A third (33%) of the public says they followed the debate over health care reform more closely than other top stories last week, while 22% followed reports about the condition of the U.S. economy most closely. According to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted October 2-5 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, one-in-ten followed news about earthquakes in Indonesia and a tsunami in the South Pacific most closely, while 9% named talks between the United States and Iran over Iran's nuclear program as their top story.

Though a growing percentage of Americans say coverage of the health care debate has been excessive (21%), almost twice as many (40%) say the amount of coverage has been about right. The public also still finds the debate about health care reform important (94%), but hard to understand (66%).

Read the full report Americans Following Health Care, Economic News on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.