PEJ News Coverage Index: August 1-7, 2011. Grim Headlines and an Angry Public Drive Economic Coverage

Aug 08, 2011

The much disdained debt ceiling deal, followed by a barrage of ominous news from Wall Street and a top credit rating agency, drove coverage of the economy to its second highest level in 2011.

From August 1-7, the economy accounted for 45% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism—down modestly from 52% the previous week, when the debt debate drama was peaking.

One thing that distinguished last week’s economic coverage was the overwhelmingly negative tone to the news that followed the August 2 debt agreement. That included reports of widespread public dissatisfaction with the deal—and the process that produced it—as well as a 513 point plunge in stock prices on August 4. That was followed by the August 5 bombshell that Standard & Poor’s was downgrading the U.S. credit rating for the first time ever.

Read the full report, Grim Headlines and an Angry Public Drive Economic Coverage, on the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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