PEJ News Coverage Index: Mar. 8 - 14, 2010, Obama's New Pitch Drives Health Care Coverage

  • March 16, 2010

With President Obama taking a more populist approach to health care reform, the battle over his top domestic priority was the No. 1 story for the third week in a row.

From March 8-14, the health care debate filled 19% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. The narrative was driven by Obama's impassioned approach as he took to the road and sharpened his attacks on the insurance industry. The latest spike in coverage began with the televised health care summit on February 25 and gained additional momentum on March 3 when Obama announced his desire for a vote within weeks.

The other big domestic issue, the state of the U.S. economy, was the second-biggest story at 12%, marking the third straight week it has been the No. 2 item on the news agenda. Last week's storyline was dominated by the troubled financial sector and the jobs market.

The continued controversy surrounding departed Democratic Congressman Eric Massa was the third-biggest story (5%) last week. In the wake of charges of sexual harassment, Massa last week hit the talk show circuit. But rather than clearing his name, he stirred up more controversy with an on-air confession.  

Read the full report Obama's New Pitch Drives Health Care Coverage on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.