PEJ News Coverage Index: Mar. 29 - Apr. 4, 2010, Jobs, Health Care and Militia Top Varied News Week

  • April 06, 2010

For the first time in over a month, the American health care system did not dominate the week's news. 

Instead, coverage of the U.S. economy, fueled by an encouraging jobs report, topped the week at 10% of the news hole, according to the PewResearch Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

In the days after the passage and signing of the historic legislation, health care remained in the news, though the amount of coverage dropped markedly. Press attention to the finalized bill made up 9% of last week's news, down from 45% just one week before.

This made for a particularly diverse news agenda last week. Eight different stories filled at least 4% of the newshole, and only the economy reached double digits. It was also a week that placed the fortunes of Obama Administration at the center of the news agenda in several stories, as the President continued to try to bolster his image after signing the health care bill by taking action on various U.S. domestic and foreign policies.

In addition to the economy and health care, the president made news with his proposal to open large swaths of American coastline to oil and natural gas drilling. The announcement, which rankled some environmental groups, made up 5% of the week's news coverage, making it the No. 5 story overall.  

Read the full report Jobs, Health Care and Militia Top Varied News Week on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.