News Interest Index: Campaign, War and Returning Troops

While the national news media focused heavily on the 2008 presidential campaign last week, the public divided its interest between the campaign and the Iraq war. More than one-fifth of the national newshole (21%) was devoted to the presidential campaign, while news about the war – including the situation in Iraq, returning U.S. troops and the Iraq policy debate – drew only about half as much coverage.

The campaign also was the public's top story last week, with 20% citing the news about the presidential candidates as the story they followed most closely. But nearly as many (17%) mentioned the situation in Iraq or news about U.S. soldiers returning home from the war (15%) as their top stories. Notably, news organizations devoted just 3% of coverage to the Iraq home front, including stories about Iraq war veterans.

Read the full report Campaign, War and Returning Troops on the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Web site.

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