News Interest Index: Murder Charge in Trayvon Martin's Death Top Story

Apr 17, 2012

The Trayvon Martin killing continued to top the public’s news interest last week as prosecutors in Florida filed a second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the African American 17-year-old.

About a third of the public (32%) says they followed news about the charges against Zimmerman more closely than any other news last week, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted April 12-15, 2012, among 1,002 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The controversy over the shooting has been the most closely followed story for four straight weeks.

With the presidential contest shifting toward the fight between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, news about the 2012 campaign topped coverage last week, making up 22% of the newshole. Still, as prosecutors launched the legal case against Zimmerman, coverage of developments in the Trayvon Martin case was up sharply from one week earlier. Last week, the Trayvon Martin story accounted for 17% of coverage, up from 7% one week earlier, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).

Read the full report, Murder Charge in Trayvon Martin's Death Top Story, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' website.

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