News Interest Index: Growing Attention to Wall Street Protests

Oct 19, 2011

The public focused most closely last week on two interrelated news stories – the nation’s struggling economy and the anti-Wall Street protests that have now spread far beyond their beginnings in New York City.

Two-in-ten (20%) say their top story was reports about the condition of the U.S. economy. That’s about the same as the 18% that say their top story was the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and other cities, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Oct. 13-16 among 1,007 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. One week earlier, the protests did not rank high among the public’s top stories, but as the movement has spread – and coverage has ramped up – so has public interest.

Altogether, the various economic news threads also topped coverage, accounting for about a quarter of the newshole, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). More than a third of that (10% of all coverage) focused on the anti-Wall Street protests. That’s up from 7% the previous week and just 2% the week before that. News about the debate in Washington over jobs and deficit legislation accounted for 6% of coverage and more general economic news accounted for another 8%.

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

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