PEJ News Coverage Index: March 14-20, 2011. The Media Careen from Radiation in Japan to War in Libya

Mar 22, 2011

The U.S. media began a challenging and dramatic week mobilized to cover growing radiation fears in Japan. They ended it reporting on U.S. military intervention in Libya’s civil war.

For the week of March 14-20, the still unfolding drama at a Japanese nuclear facility and continuing coverage of the humanitarian catastrophe there accounted for 57% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That makes it the third-biggest story in a single week since PEJ began tracking news coverage in 2007.

Things changed dramatically, however, on Thursday, March 17 when the United Nations voted to enact a no-fly zone in Libyan air space to be enforced by the U.S. and its allies. At that point, the priorities of the mainstream media shifted abruptly.

Read the full report, The Media Careen from Radiation in Japan to War in Libya, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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