News Interest Index: Wall Street Protests Receive Limited Attention

Oct 12, 2011

Americans continued to closely track news about the nation’s struggling economy last week, and paid only modest attention to a fast- growing media story – the anti-Wall Street protests in New York and other cities.

About a quarter (27%) say news about the condition of the U.S. economy was their top story, while just 7% cite the Occupy Wall Street protests as their top story. Looking at a separate measure, 43% say they followed economic news very closely, compared with 17% for the protests, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Oct. 6-9 among 1,000 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

News about the spreading anti-Wall Street protests accounted for 7% of coverage, nearly four times the level of coverage one week earlier, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). But there is significantly less public interest in the current Occupy Wall Street protests than there was in the Tea Party protests in early 2009, when they were receiving comparable levels of media coverage. And notably, partisans are about equally likely to say they are tracking the current protests very closely, a sharp contrast with the intense Republican interest in early Tea Party protests in 2009.

Read the full report, Wall Street Protests Receive Limited Attention, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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