Public Closely Follows Midwest Storms
The devastating tornadoes that struck Missouri last week dominated the public’s news interest. Also, three-quarters say they heard at least a little about the end of Oprah’s talk show.
Still Talking About bin Laden’s Death
While interest and coverage has waned, the bin Laden killing is by far the public’s most talked about news event. Also, the 2012 campaign continues to get only modest attention, but Newt Gingrich’s visibility has risen substantially.
Death of bin Laden: More Coverage than Interest
While the bin Laden’s death attracted a near-record amount of news coverage, public interest has been comparatively modest. In fact, four-in-ten say the story has received too much media attention.
Too Much Coverage: Birth Certificate, Royal Wedding
Majorities of Americans say news organizations focused too much last week on both the royal wedding in England and the release of the long-form version of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
Modest American Interest in Royal Wedding
The economy and deadly storms far outpaced U.S. interest in the coming nuptials in Great Britain and nearly two-thirds call wedding coverage excessive.
Trump Has Highest Profile Among Possible GOP Contenders
Among Republicans, 39% name Trump as the most visible presidential candidate — more than all other possible GOP candidates combined. A majority of Americans, however, could not name anyone when asked which GOP candidate they have been hearing the most about.
Government Shutdown Threat Shuts Out Foreign News
The looming government shutdown became the first domestic story to lead the news in nearly two months. Rep. Ryan’s budget drew attention and the Middle East remained in the news.
Public Tracks Both Japan and Shutdown Fight
The public divided its attention last week between the threat of a government shutdown (a story with much media attention) and the ongoing crisis in Japan (a story with just one-fourth of the news coverage of the shutdown).
Public Sees Better News about Jobs, But Not Prices
While the public is hearing better news about jobs, news about prices (both gas and food) has become increasingly negative. Perceptions of the economic news vary along partisan lines, as Republicans offer a more negative assessment than do Democrats or independents.
Most Are Attentive to News About Disaster in Japan
News about the aftermath of the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan dominated the public’s news interest and media coverage last week. The crisis at Japan’s nuclear plants — far more than other aspects of the story — captured the most public interest.