PEJ News Coverage Index: November 7-13, 2011. Two Explosive Scandals Top the News

Nov 15, 2011

Two simmering scandals—one involving a presidential candidate and the other, a major university—fueled coverage of the two top news stories last week.

For the week of November 7-13, the 2012 presidential election was the No. 1 story, filling 24% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. While down from 29% the previous week, it still represented the second biggest week of campaign coverage to date and the second week in a row that the presidential race topped the news agenda.

In both of those weeks, campaign coverage was driven by the allegations of sexual harassment against Republican contender Herman Cain. Last week, as several new accusers surfaced and Cain vehemently denied the allegations, the scandal accounted for more than half of all the campaign coverage studied by PEJ. And as was the case in the previous week, Cain was by far the leading overall newsmaker from November 7-13, appearing as a dominant figure in 12% of the stories examined. (To register as a dominant newsmaker, someone must be featured in at least 50% of a story.)

Read the full report, Two Explosive Scandals Top the News, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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