Due largely to BP’s most promising effort yet to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, that ongoing environmental disaster led the week’s news, generating its highest amount of coverage in three weeks.
From July 12-18, the spill filled 20% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism—with coverage focused largely on the installation of a new containment cap. While media attention was up moderately from 15% the previous two weeks, it still fell well below peak coverage levels from late May through late June, when the story consistently accounted for one-third or more of the newshole.
Still, the roster of top stories for the week suggests that, at least for now, no other topic has emerged to replace the Gulf oil disaster as the dominant mainstream media narrative.
At No. 2 last week was the U.S. economy, accounting for 14% of the newshole. Much of the coverage focused on the Senate’s passage of the financial oversight bill, a piece of legislation designed to more closely regulate the industry at the center of the financial meltdown in September 2008.
Read the full report, With New Hope for Containment, the Gulf Spill Leads on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.