PEJ News Coverage Index: May 2-8, 2011. Osama bin Laden's Death Dominates the News

May 11, 2011

The death of Osama bin Laden drove unprecedented amounts of coverage last week, making it the biggest story in a single week since the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism began tracking mainstream media coverage in January 2007.

Coverage of the May 1 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and its aftermath, accounted for 69% of the newshole during the week of May 2-8, according to PEJ’s News Coverage Index. That edged out the media attention (just under 69%) devoted to the presidential campaign from August 25-31, 2008, when Democrats nominated Barack Obama at their Denver convention and John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his surprise running mate.

On cable television alone, the bin Laden story accounted for a staggering 90% of the airtime studied last week.

Read the full report, Osama bin Laden's Death Dominates the News on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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