With oil still gushing and criticism mounting, the runaway deep-sea well in the Gulf of Mexico topped the mainstream news agenda last week for the fifth consecutive time—making it one of the biggest stories of the year so far.
The subject accounted for 34% of the newshole from June 7-13, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Although coverage has decreased slightly each of the past two weeks, the spill has become the first story in 14 months to command at least 30% of the newshole for three consecutive weeks. (The economy, driven by the debate over the stimulus package, did so for nine weeks in 2009, from late January through late March.)
Last week, the narrative appeared to be shifting somewhat. While efforts to contain and clean the spill still led the coverage—as they have in recent weeks—questions about the effectiveness of the response by well-owner BP and the government gained a larger share of attention. And commentators on both the left and the right stepped up criticism of President Obama’s leadership in the crisis.
Read the full report, Blame Game Intensifies In the Gulf Oil Saga, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.