News Interest Index: Mosque Debate, Egg Recall Top Public Interest

  • September 01, 2010

No one story dominated the public's news interest last week, as several story lines – including the debate over a mosque near Ground Zero in New York and the recall of hundreds of millions of eggs – vied for Americans' attention.

About two-in-ten (19%) say they followed the debate over plans for an Islamic cultural center and mosque in downtown Manhattan more closely than other major stories. A comparable number (16%) say they followed the recall of more than half a billion eggs after an outbreak of salmonella most closely, according to the latest News Interest Index survey conducted Aug. 26-29 among 1002 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

As summer neared an end, the media also divided its attention among several top stories. The 2010 elections accounted for 14% of the newshole and stories examining New Orleans and the Gulf Coast five years after Hurricane Katrina made up another 11%, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). The debate over the New York Islamic center accounted for 6% of coverage, while the egg recall made up 4%.

Read the full report, Mosque Debate, Egg Recall Top Public Interest on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.