PEJ News Coverage Index: April 4-10, 2011. The Shutdown Drama Drives the News

Apr 12, 2011

Last week, the U.S. news media turned inward.

For the first time in nearly two months, a domestic—rather than international—crisis led the news as the threat of a government shutdown (averted at nearly the last second) was the No. 1 story. A closely related topic, the overall economy, driven by Representative Paul Ryan’s controversial 2012 budget blueprint, was the second-biggest topic.

The two domestic issues combined to fill 40% of the newshole from April 4-10, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The two overseas events that have been dominating the news in recent weeks—turmoil in the Mideast and the earthquake in Japan—accounted for less than half as much attention (18%). Just one week earlier, those foreign stories accounted for 50% of the overall coverage compared with only 15% for the economy and the threat of a shutdown.

Read the full report, The Shutdown Drama Drives the News on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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