News Interest Index: Strong Public Interest in Iranian Election Protests

Jun 24, 2009

The dramatic events in Iran last week captured the attention of both the public and the media as Americans tracked news about post-election protests in Tehran nearly as closely as they followed news about the troubled U.S. economy.

Two-in-ten say they followed news about the street protests over disputed election results – and the government bid to contain them – more closely than any other major story last week. That’s about the same as the 22% that say they most closely followed news about the economy, the week’s other top story.

About three-in-ten (28%) say they followed developments in Iran very closely, a relatively high level of interest for a foreign story that does not directly involve Americans. Still, that is lower than the 42% that say they followed reports about the struggling economy very closely.

According to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted June 19-22 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, seven-in-ten Americans say they had heard at least a little about the ban imposed by the Iranian government on foreign journalists seeking to cover the protests. Six-in-ten had heard at least a little about Iranians posting amateur video and first hand accounts of protests to the internet to help overcome constraints on journalists in Tehran.

Read the full report Strong Public Interest in Iranian Election Protests on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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