Stories of 2009: Public vs. Press
The media’s top stories generally reflected the public’s top interests, but the press gave more coverage to politics (Kennedy’s death, Palin’s book, Specter’s switch) than the public was willing to follow.
More Now Think Health Care Reform Will Pass
Americans continued to follow the health care debate more closely than any other news story last week, and the public gave the odds of a reform bill ultimately being passed the most positive assessment in two months of tracking.
Health Reform Still Hard to Understand
Despite being the public’s top story, most Americans are still confused by the health care debate.
Public Follows War, Talks Tiger
While far fewer say they followed news about the golfer than about the troop decision, as many people say they talked with friends about Tiger Woods’ troubles as about Afghanistan.
Few in Public Follow Palin Closely
Most Americans (52%) say they have been hearing too much about Palin, far more than said so after her resignation in July (38%).
What the Public Hears About Health Care
Debate over the public option has been more visible than any other specific element of reform. While few have heard how reform would be paid for, many more have heard about its cost.
Shootings Seize Public’s Attention
Public attention to the Fort Hood shootings is on par with the tragedy in Virginia Tech. Despite media coverage, election results don’t generate much interest.
Swine Flu Interest Outpaces Coverage
The public’s impression of economic news remains mixed at best, with 68% hearing “mostly bad news” about jobs.
How the Public Judges News Network Ideology
The perception of Fox News as mostly conservative is shared across news audiences, but Fox News viewers are more likely to see the other cable and network stations as mostly liberal.
Public Finds Afghanistan News Unchanging, Hard to Follow
As interest in the war remains modest, most Americans are unable to correctly estimate the number of U.S. fatalities in Afghanistan. Also, a majority now expects health care reform to pass.