Policy Issues Overshadow Personal Stories in Obama’s First Weeks
The public focused much more on President Obama’s stimulus plans than on his successful bid to keep his Blackberry. Also, fully eight-in-ten say they have heard a lot about the coming switch to digital TV.
Inauguration Outdraws Interest in Economy
The public paid very close attention to the inauguration of Barack Obama as president last week, while keeping a close eye on the nation’s troubled economy. More than four-in-ten (42%) Americans say the inauguration of the nation’s first black president was the news story they followed most closely. By comparison, 25% say the same of […]
Plane Crash Draws as Much Interest as Economy
Among domestic airline and train accidents of recent years, only one — the deadly crash of TWA flight 800 off the coast of New York in 1996 — attracted significantly greater public interest than the dramatic emergency landing of US Airways flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River.
Obama Cabinet Appointees Highly Visible
Much of the increased awareness of the president-elect’s high-level personnel selections has to do with his choice of Hillary Clinton to serve as secretary of state.
Mideast Competes With Economy and Obama for Public Interest
Public interest in the Middle East conflict is on par with other recent foreign news stories, but is lower than in the Israel-Hezbollah war in August 2006. A slightly greater percentage say the media have not been critical enough of Hamas than say the same about coverage of Israel (30% vs. 25%, respectively).
Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Outlet
The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. While the 2008 presidential campaign attracted high levels of public attention, the economy was the top story of the year in terms of news interest, according to Pew’s Weekly News Interest Index. In late September, as the nation’s financial crisis deepened, 70% said they were following news about the economy very closely. That ranks among the highest levels of news interest for any story in the past two decades.
Blagojevich Arrest Grabs Public Attention
Only the congressional check bouncing scandal of 1992 — in which members of Congress were investigated for overdrawing their office checking accounts — and the initial Clinton-Lewinsky allegations in 1998 rated higher in terms of public interest than the Blagojevich bribery charges.
Good News for the Administration
A majority of Americans says news stories about the incoming administration are mostly positive. Republicans are hearing more mixed reports.
Watching the White House Take Shape
The economy is still No. 1 in news interest, but Americans are also paying close attention to Obama’s cabinet and staff selections. While less attention has been paid to personal matters — like the first family’s new puppy — news about Michelle Obama is now seen by the public as mostly positive, a sharp contrast to the perceived negativity over the summer.
Detroit’s Troubles Driving Attention to Economy, Bailout Opposition Rises
With the presidential election behind them, Americans have turned their attention back to the nation’s economy, though nearly half say they feel angry when seeing or hearing such reports.