PEJ News Coverage Index: June 14-20, 2010, The Gulf Disaster Becomes a Beltway Story

PEJ News Coverage Index: June 14-20, 2010, The Gulf Disaster Becomes a Beltway Story

Coverage of the Gulf oil disaster took a decidedly political turn as the story entered its ninth straight week among the top news events.

The spill accounted for 44% of the newshole from June 14-20, its highest level of coverage to date, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. That's up markedly over the previous week (34%) and represents the most coverage for any story since the landmark health care bill passed Congress, filling 45% of the newshole from March 22-28.

After weeks in which the cleanup, containment and impact of the spill dominated the Gulf coverage, the narrative pivoted substantially last week.  Nearly half of the spill coverage focused on BP's role in the disaster and its responsibilities moving forward. The next largest portion, about a third, focused on the federal government's actions and response.  Only about one-fifth concerned the ongoing attempts to fix the leak and clean up the mess.

The spill also generated more than six times as much coverage as the week's No. 2 story. The U.S. economy filled 7% of the time on television and radio, and space online and in print, led by news about housing and jobs. The No. 3 story, at 5%, was the war in Afghanistan, with reports of vast mineral discoveries in the country and General David Petraeus's fainting spell in the Capitol.

Read the full report, The Gulf Disaster Becomes a Beltway Story, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.