News Interest Index: Koran Burning Plans Grab Media, Public Attention

  • September 15, 2010

As the nation marked the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks last week, many in the public and the media focused more on current tensions over Islam in America – most notably plans by a Florida pastor to burn copies of the Koran.

Nearly two-in-ten (17%) say they followed the controversy over the pastor's announcement that he would burn Korans on Sept. 11 more closely than any other major story.  The burning did not happen, but the story ranked second on the list of stories followed most closely, according to the latest News Interest Index survey of 1001 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Another 9% say they followed news about the Sept. 11 anniversary most closely.

The media devoted 15% of the newshole last week to news dealing with anti-Muslim sentiments. Most of that (14%) focused on Pastor Terry Jones' plans and the push to get him to cancel the Koran burning, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). An additional 4% of coverage focused on the continuing debate over a planned Muslim community center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center towers in downtown Manhattan.

Read the full report, Koran Burning Plans Grab Media, Public Attention on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.