PEJ News Coverage Index: Sept. 7 - 13, 2009, A Speech and a Shout Drive Health Care Coverage

PEJ News Coverage Index: Sept. 7 - 13, 2009, A Speech and a Shout Drive Health Care Coverage

The debate over how and if to reform the American health care system re-intensified and dominated the news agenda last week.

That was fueled by a much anticipated Presidential speech and an unanticipated outburst from a South Carolina Congressman.

For the week of September 7-13, the battle over health care reform accounted for 32% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. That equals the previous high-water mark in PEJ's News Coverage Index, which monitors the agenda of the mainstream media. That occurred during the week of August 10-16, when angry town hall confrontations were driving the press narrative.

Last week, the event fueling media attention was President Obama's September 9 prime time address to Congress. In much of the coverage, the speech was depicted as a crucial attempt to regain momentum after a month when Obama opponents seemed to assume the upper hand in the message/political wars. But as it turned out, Obama had to share the media's post-speech post-mortems with Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, who heckled the President with the now famous “you lie” shout.

Read the full report A Speech and a Shout Drive Health Care Coverage on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

America’s Overdose Crisis
America’s Overdose Crisis

America’s Overdose Crisis

Sign up for our five-email course explaining the overdose crisis in America, the state of treatment access, and ways to improve care

Sign up
Quick View

America’s Overdose Crisis

Sign up for our five-email course explaining the overdose crisis in America, the state of treatment access, and ways to improve care

Sign up