News Interest Index: Haiti, Snowstorms, Economy Vie for Public's Attention

Feb 17, 2010

Americans say they tracked the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti more closely than any other major news story last week, but they also kept a close watch on news about the U.S. economy and the powerful snow storms that hit the nation’s East Coast and South.

Three-in-ten (30%) say they followed news about Haiti most closely, while about two-in-ten say they followed news about the economy (21%) or the storms (20%) more closely than any other major story. One-in-ten say they followed news about the opening of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, most closely, while smaller numbers say continuing safety concerns about Toyota vehicles (4%) and former President Clinton’s heart troubles (1%) were their top stories of the week.

And, in a week when stories about the massive snow storms filled more newshole than any other story, most Americans (70%) say the wintry weather received about the right amount of coverage. Just over two-in-ten (22%) say the storms received too much coverage; 5% say they received too little.

In general, majorities say each of the top stories asked about received the right amount of coverage. The exception is the economy. Reflecting Americans’ continuing concerns, only about half (46%) say the economy received the right amount of coverage. Many (34%) wanted more, saying news about the U.S. economy received too little coverage. These are among the findings in the latest News Interest Index survey, conducted Feb. 12-15 among 1,029 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Read the full report Haiti, Snowstorms, Economy Vie for Public's Attention on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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