PEJ: King of Pop Logs More Airtime Than Iraq War in ’09


WASHINGTON — Cable-news operations
provided more than twice as much
coverage of pop star Michael Jackson
in 2009 (Jackson died in June of that
year) as they did to the war in Iraq. That
is according to a new, online interactive
analysis of various media sectors from the
Project for Excellence in Journalism.

According to the analysis, 1.1% of the
overall cable news hole went to war
coverage, while 2.3% went to covering

Providing the most coverage of both
was CNN, with 3.4% of its news hole going
to Jackson, compared with 1.5% going to
the war. Fox News Channel lent 0.9% of its
coverage to the war and 1.5% to Jackson,
while MSNBC gave the two topics a similar
0.9% and 1.9%, respectively.

To check out how much time and space
the cable news networks gave to a range
of stories, from swine flu to Sarah Palin,
go to
and follow the instructions to
create your own breakouts.

The analysis was based on over 68,000
stories across fi ve categories: radio,
newspapers, morning and evening
network news, and cable network news.