News Interest Index: Tax Cut Deal Captures Public and Media Attention

Dec 14, 2010

Americans closely tracked news last week about the agreement between President Obama and Republican congressional leaders to temporarily extend Bush-era tax cuts, aid for the unemployed and certain tax breaks intended to help the struggling economy.

About three-in-ten (29%) say they followed news about the deal more closely than any other major story. Another 17% say they most closely followed news about the economy in general, according to the latest News Interest Index survey conducted Dec. 9-12 among 1,011 adults.

News about the economy – and efforts to spark greater growth – dominated news coverage as well. A third (33%) of news coverage last week focused specifically on the agreement reached between the White House and GOP leaders, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).  More general reporting on the economy accounted for another 7% of the newshole. People paid attention to both storylines: 69% say they followed news about the economy either very (39%) or fairly closely (30%), while 66% say they followed news about the tax deal either very (37%) or fairly closely (29%).

Read the full report, Tax Cut Deal Captures Public and Media Attention on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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