U.S. Politics Jan. 15, 2009

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.

U.S. Politics Jan. 8, 2009

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).

U.S. Politics Dec. 23, 2008

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.

U.S. Politics Dec. 18, 2008

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.

U.S. Politics Dec. 11, 2008

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 25, 2008

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 20, 2008

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 12, 2008

Few Will Miss Campaign News

The 2008 campaign set records for interest and will long be remembered (in fact, 23% of Americans are saving a post-election newspaper), but fully 82% of Americans will have no problem taking election news out of their lives. Also, Bill O’Reilly comes in as American’s favorite — and least favorite — campaign commentator.

U.S. Politics Nov. 6, 2008

Election Weekend News Interest Hits 20-Year High

Fully 60% of voters followed campaign news very closely this weekend, the highest level of interest on the eve of an election since the Pew Research Center began tracking campaign news interest in 1988. Throughout the campaign, Americans said they were hearing more about Obama than about McCain, although analysis shows news coverage became closely balanced between the two candidates.

U.S. Politics Oct. 31, 2008

Internet Now Major Source of Campaign News

Television remains the dominant source, but the percent of people who say they get most of their campaign news from the internet has tripled since 2004.