News Interest Index: Public Focus Still on Haiti; Media Shifts to State of Union

Feb 04, 2010

In a week when the media focused heavily on Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address and the state of the economy, Americans continued to track news about the earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news story.

Four-in-ten say they followed news about the aftermath of the earthquake and relief efforts “most closely” last week, far more than said the same about the debate over health care reform (18%) or reports about the condition of the U.S. economy (15%). Fewer that one-in-ten (8%) say they followed news about the State of the Union speech more closely than any other story, according to the latest News Interest Index survey, conducted Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 among 1,020 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

The media, on the other hand, gave the most coverage to the president’s speech (19%) and news about the economic crisis (18%), according to the separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Reporting on the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake made up 11% of the newshole examined.

Read the full report Public Focus Still on Haiti; Media Shifts to State of Union on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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