For Afghanistan to feature prominently in the news, the years have shown it usually depends on what is happening in Washington.
Last week was one such week. The war in that country accounted for 14% of the newshole in the U.S. mainstream media between June 20 and June 26, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. It was the fourth biggest week of coverage for Afghanistan since PEJ began its weekly News Coverage Index monitoring the news agenda in January 2007, and easily the biggest week of coverage so far of 2011.
The last time the conflict in Afghanistan ranked among the top stories in any week was March 28-April 3, when it was No. 5 at 3% of the newshole (a Rolling Stone expose of an Army platoon drove much of the coverage that week). Since January, the war has accounted for only 2% of the newshole overall.
Read the full report, Afghanistan War Jumps Back into Headlines, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.