PEJ Campaign Coverage Index: September 15 - 21, 2008,The Latest Campaign Narrative—'It's The Economy, Stupid'

PEJ Campaign Coverage Index: September 15 - 21, 2008,The Latest Campaign Narrative—'It's The Economy, Stupid'

For much of this election season, media coverage has been driven by a series of discrete, often unexpected events—from Rev. Wright's sermons to the war in Georgia, from candidate gaffes to John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin. While the polls and election fundamentals of the race haven't changed much, the campaign itself seemed to lack a master narrative.

Last week, the frightening financial meltdown on Wall Street re-oriented the campaign and re-wrote the storyline. The crisis was not only the week's top story—marking only the second time this year that an event other than the campaign emerged as the No. 1 topic of the week. It also raised the possibility that a major policy issue, the economy, might emerge as the decisive factor of the campaign.

Last week, certainly, the financial crisis was the top theme in the election coverage itself, accounting for 43% of the campaign newshole for Sept. 15-21, according to the Campaign Coverage Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Read the full report The Latest Campaign Narrative--'It's The Economy, Stupid' on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

National Homeownership Month

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.