PEJ News Coverage Index: February 7-February 13, 2011. The Fall of Mubarak and the Media

Feb 15, 2011

The two weeks of protest in Egypt seemed to be settling into a pattern, and the press, ever impatient, began to turn away. Then, in two days, protest turned to revolution and coverage of the unrest in the Middle East again dominated the U.S. news agenda.

By the time the week was over, February 7-13, the turmoil in Egypt filled 40% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.  That is down from the previous week’s level of 56%—when the crisis registered as the biggest international story in the four years PEJ has studied the media agenda through its weekly News Coverage Index. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story.

In the first half of last week (Monday through Wednesday), coverage of Egypt accounted for 26% of the newshole as the stalemate between President Hosni Mubarak and the protestors seemed to drag on. But from Thursday through Sunday—in the hours leading up to and following Mubarak’s exit—coverage roared back, filling 59% of the newshole—and even more on cable news (93%), network news (69%) and radio news (63%).

Read the full report, The Fall of Mubarak and the Media, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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