PEJ News Coverage Index: June 13-19, 2011. GOP Debate Drives Campaign Coverage to New High

Jun 21, 2011

The 2012 presidential campaign generated its highest level of coverage to date as a large cast of GOP candidates squared off in New Hampshire last week.

The race for the White House led the news agenda, accounting for 15% of the newshole from June 13-19, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That was nearly double the coverage (8%) one week earlier and topped the previous high of 12% (May 30-June 5) when former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney entered the race and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin embarked on a highly publicized bus tour. 

Last week’s debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire was not the first of this election cycle, but in some ways, the media treated it like it was. Last month’s kickoff debate in South Carolina was attended by mostly long-shot candidates, and was overwhelmed by the avalanche of media attention to the death of Osama bin Laden which had occurred just four days earlier. That week (May 2-8), the campaign accounted for just 3% of the newshole.

Read the full report, GOP Debate Drives Campaign Coverage to New High, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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