News Interest Index: Interest in bin Laden Now Tops News Coverage

May 18, 2011

Public interest in the killing of Osama bin Laden has declined since the week U.S. forces raided his compound in Pakistan. But news coverage of bin Laden’s death has fallen more precipitously.

About a third of the public (32%) says they followed this news more closely than any other story last week, down from 42% one week earlier. The proportion saying they followed this story very closely also has fallen, from 50% to 37%.

Bin Laden continued to be the news media’s top story, but coverage of his death plummeted – from 69% of the newshole in the week immediately following the raid to 24% last week, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The news media’s focus was less one-sided last week; 9% of the coverage was devoted to the flooding along the Mississippi River, 8% to possible 2012 presidential candidates, and 7% to the economy.

Read the full report, Interest in bin Laden Now Tops News Coverage, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site. 

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