News Interest Index: Public Attention Focused on U.S. Economy

May 09, 2012

Americans followed news about the nation’s economy more closely than any other news last week amid new signs the pace of the recovery has slowed.

A quarter of the public (25%) says their top story was reports about the condition of the U.S. economy, while 18% say they followed news about the 2012 presidential election most closely, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted May 3-6 among 999 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

In a week when no single story dominated coverage, the presidential campaign accounted for 15% of the newshole, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). The drama unfolding in China over the fate of dissident Chen Guangcheng ranked second, accounting for 12%. News about the economy made up 9%. Despite heavy coverage of the China story, which has involved tense negotiations between the U.S. and China, public interest has been modest; 15% say they followed this story very closely, while 6% say this was the news they followed most closely.

Read the full report, Public Attention Focused on U.S. Economy, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' website.

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