The U.S. economy topped the news last week, powered in large part by increasing attention to the Occupy Wall Street protests, according to data from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Mark Jurkowitz of the Pew Center writes, “From October 10-16, the economy filled 24% of the newshole, up slightly from 22% the previous week, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. This also marked the third consecutive week in which coverage of the protests grew, according to PEJ’s weekly News Coverage Index, which tracks the media agenda, or the attention paid to different topics in the news. Last week, the Occupy Wall Street storyline increased to 9% of the overall newshole compared with 7% the previous week and 2% the week before that.
“While it is complicated to compare different news events several years apart, the Tea Party protests began with little media notice in February 2009. But they filled 7% of the newshole studied the week they went national with widespread protests on April 15 of that year.
“Last week, the narrative about the protests focused intently on politics, as Democrats more fervently embraced the demonstrations and Republicans became more pointed in their criticism.
“Some of that media attention was clearly negative. The subject of the economy got the most attention last week in the radio news sector (43% of the airtime studied), which includes the ideological talk shows dominated by conservatives.
“Politics was also at the core of the No. 2 story last week, the 2012 presidential election, which filled 19% of the newshole. That is up slightly from 18% the previous weeks and represents the high water mark for coverage of the campaign to date.”
Read more here.