News Interest Index: 9-11 Commemorations Capture Public Attention

Sep 13, 2011

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks topped the public’s news interest last week, but Americans also continued to closely track news about the nation’s struggling economy.

About a quarter (27%) say they followed coverage of the solemn 9/11 anniversary more closely than any other news. Nearly as many (23%) say they followed news about the economy most closely. Another 13% cite President Obama’s speech to Congress to unveil his jobs plan as their top story, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Sept. 8-11 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press among 1,010 adults.

These two topics – the 9/11 anniversary and the economy’s troubles – also topped media coverage. News about the anniversary and developments related to terror on the home front together accounted for 18% of coverage, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). News about the economy made up a total of 28% of the newshole. About two thirds of that (19% of all coverage) focused on Obama’s Sept. 8 jobs speech, while 9% focused on economic news more generally. 

Read the full report, 9/11 Commemorations Capture Public Attention, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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