Tag Archives: Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

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Natural Disasters Were Big News in 2011

By Tom Yulsman (originally published at CEJournal, Dec. 22, 2011).

Attention by the U.S. news media to environmental topics dropped from almost nil to all but nil in 2011, according to a new survey out Thursday from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Among general topics, international news of one sort or another topped Pew’s list, beating out the economy generally, which was in fifth position in terms of the percent of the “news hole” it garnered in 2011. As for the environment generally, its portion of the news hole dropped to just 1 percent this past year, down from 2 percent in 2010.

The Pew survey also looked at individual news stories that dominated mainstream news in 2011. And another survey, from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, examined the particular stories Americans followed most closely. (More about the latter survey in a minute.)

In terms of specific stories, as opposed to general topic categories, see the chart above for the rankings of the top ten. I find it quite interesting that unrest in the Middle East came in second, beating out the election.

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