Man-made and natural disasters dominated the list of the public's top news stories in 2007. Nearly half of Americans (45%) tracked news about the shootings of 33 students at Virginia Tech University very closely, while nearly as many paid very close attention to reports on the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the California wildfires.
As was the case in 2006, however, the rising price of gasoline attracted the largest audience of any news story. In May, 52% of Americans said they tracked rising prices at the pump very closely.
The Iraq war also continued to be a major story in 2007, though public interest in the war peaked early in the year and then fell noticeably. In early January, 40% followed news of President Bush's troop surge very closely, while about the same proportion paid very close attention to reports on the situation in Iraq. By December, just 28% on average paid very close attention to news about Iraq.
Read the full report Gas Prices, Disasters Top Public's News Interests In 2007 on the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Web site.