Economy Tops National News for Fifth Week Running: PEJ Index


For a fifth week in a row, the major national news media devoted more of their news holes to the economy than any other story, and for a second straight week the News of the World phone-hacking scandal came in second.

The economy accounted for 35% of the stories July 18-24 according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism News Coverage Index, while the News of the World story claimed 17%, more than the next three stories combined, which were the July heart wave (5%), the presidential election in 2012 (4%) and the last NASA shuttle mission (3%).

The hacking story was up from 12% the week before and 6% two weeks ago, while the economy story was down slightly from 37%. It was the third week in a row the hacking story was in the top five stories in terms of coverage.

Almost half of the News of the World coverage from last week was on Tuesday, when Rupert and James Murdoch, chairmen of News Corp. and News International, respectively, testified before a special committee of Parliament.

The news Coverage index is based on content analysis of 52 outlets in five sectors, broadcast network nightly newscasts, cable, radio, print, and online.