Timeline: Top News Stories of 2012
A look at the public’s top 15 news stories of 2012, according to Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index.
Public Divided Over Newtown Shootings
Americans are evenly divided over whether the Newtown shootings reflect broader problems in society or are just isolated acts of troubled individuals.
More Following ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Debate Than Petraeus Investigation
Nearly identical percentages of Republicans (36%) and Democrats (35%) say they very closely followed the debate over the automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect at the beginning of next year unless the president and Congress act.
More Interest in Hurricane Sandy than Election
Just over half of the public (53%) say they followed news about Hurricane Sandy and the storm’s impact very closely last week, outpacing interest in the 2012 presidential election (47% very closely) and news about the U.S. economy (38% very closely).
Colorado Rampage Tops News Interest for July
In the final two weeks of July, Americans kept a close watch on news about a deadly shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater, but they also closely tracked news about two long-running stories – the condition of the nation’s economy and the 2012 presidential campaign.
Colorado Shootings Capture Public’s Interest
The shooting rampage that killed 12 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., has become one of the most closely followed news stories in 2012. Polling done earlier this year shows the public remains divided about gun control.
Economy, Election Are Public’s Top Stories
The public continued to track news about the economy and the presidential election, while paying less attention to another important political story – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in a hard-fought recall election.
Interest in Foreign News Declines from 2011
Public interest in foreign news stories has been modest so far this year, in stark contrast to 2011 when several overseas news stories attracted substantial attention.
Presidential Campaign Public’s Top Story
Americans continued to follow news about the presidential campaign more closely than any other news last week, though they also closely followed news about the price of gasoline.
Presidential Campaign Tops Public’s News Interest
Americans focused most closely last week on news about the presidential election, as the race increasingly shifted from the Republican primary contest to the head-to-head fight between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.