PEJ News Coverage Index: Dec. 15 - 21, 2008, A Christmas Present — No Story Eats the News

PEJ News Coverage Index: Dec. 15 - 21, 2008, A Christmas Present — No Story Eats the News

As the year drew to a close, something happened last week that hadn't occurred all year: No single story dominated the attention of a news media that had become, increasingly, narrowly focused in 2008.

While the ongoing storylines of the struggling economy and the incoming Obama administration were still in the spotlight, other stories rivaled them for attention. And in the end, for the first time in 2008, no single story filled more than 15% of the time studied on television or space online or on the nation's front pages, according to the weekly News Coverage Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The smallest level of coverage achieved by a single top story all year was 20%. And this was only the third time in six months in which five different stories received notable attention in the same week (filling 5% or more of the newshole studied).

For the week of December 15-21, the economy and the Obama transition were closely followed by two scandals and a mess: the arrest Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich for trying to sell a Senate seat, the financial swindle involving Bernard Madoff and the efforts to rescue U.S. automakers from bankruptcy.

Read the full report A Christmas Present — No Story Eats the News on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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.