PEJ News Coverage Index: September 12-18, 2011.The Debate Over Jobs Leads the News

Sep 20, 2011

The troubled U.S. economy was the No. 1 story last week, and  for the third week in a row, President Obama’s September 8 job creation speech and plan were the central themes in that economic coverage.

Overall, the economy accounted for 20% of the newshole during the week of September 12-18, down from 28% the week before, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Despite the unfolding events of the Arab Spring and a busy presidential campaign, the economy has topped the news agenda this year, accounting for nearly one-fifth (18%) of the newshole since January 2011. The No. 2 story has been the widespread unrest in the Middle East, at 15%.

The previous two weeks of economic coverage had been focused on the jobs speech itself—including a scheduling conflict that forced it back by one day. But, last week, the media narrative emphasized a new round of partisan battles over spending cuts and tax increases that the speech provoked. As with past battles of this kind, the coverage suggested, no agreement was imminent.

Read the full report, The Debate Over Jobs Leads the News, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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