News Interest Index: Rising Oil Prices Big News for American Public

Mar 02, 2011

Both the public and the media focused last week on the increasing violence in Libya, but Americans also closely tracked news about a related concern -- the impact the crisis in the Middle East is having on oil prices at home.

About two-in-ten (21%) say they followed news about the rising price of oil more closely than any other major story, according to the latest News Interest Index survey conducted Feb. 24-27 among 1,009 adults. Comparable numbers say they most closely followed news about the situation in Libya (19%) or the budget disputes in Wisconsin and other states between state governments and public employee unions (18%).

Each of the top stories attracted strong interest. Using a separate measure, fully 50% say they followed news about rising oil prices very closely, while 49% say they followed news about the economy that closely. That is the highest number tracking the economy very closely so far this year.

Read the full report, Rising Oil Prices Big News for American Public, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

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