PEJ News Coverage Index: September 27-October 3, 2010. It's the 2010 Campaign, Again

PEJ News Coverage Index: September 27-October 3, 2010. It's the 2010 Campaign, Again

As the president hit the road to shore up the Democrats' faltering fortunes, the midterm elections topped the news agenda for the third week in a row, accounting for 26% of the newshole from Sept. 27-Oct. 3, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Even though the 2010 campaign did not heat up until the primaries began in earnest in the spring, it is now the third-biggest story of the year to date, accounting for 7% of the newshole, according to PEJ's News Coverage Index. The No. 1 story in 2010 thus far has been the economy (12%), followed by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (9%).

On the ideological radio and cable talk shows last week, a full 69% of the airtime studied was devoted the elections—with hosts finding plenty to talk about as President Obama launched a series of campaign-style appearances around the country.

The economy, the No. 2 story last week at 9%, was highlighted in stories related to the housing crisis and a suspension of foreclosures by some big lenders accused of improperly processing paperwork.

The No. 3 story last week was the debate over reforming the nation's education system. The topic, which accounted for 6% of the newshole, got a boost from an education “summit” convened by NBC as well as a call from Obama to lengthen the school year by a month. It was the third week in a row that education, a subject that does not often garner major mainstream coverage, was among the top five stories.

Read the full report, It's the 2010 Campaign, Again 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


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.