Protests in Egypt Top News Coverage: PEJ Index


The President's State of the Union address drew lots of attention, but the president's message about post-Tucson shootings unity and remaking the economy was overtaken by a wave of protest out of Egypt.

That is according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's News Coverage Index for the week of Jan. 24-30.

The Middle East crisis took up 20% of the news hole, pushing the State of the Union to second place with 17%. The Arizona shootings aftermath came in at 4%, tied with the winter storm on the East Coast and down from 17% the week before and 57% the week of the shootings.

Coverage of the Mideast turmoil versus. the President's speech varied among media. The largest disparity was on radio, where the speech actually got twice as much coverage (22% of the news hole) as the Egyptian uprising.

Cable news spent the most time on the Middle East at 36% vs. 22% on the speech, which was primarily a one-day story. Network newscasts gave each story 20% of their news holes, while in newspapers and online, the split was 15% Middle East/11% speech.

The index looks at 52 outlets from five sectors: print, online, network TV, cable and national radio (for the list of outlets, click here). It does not include local radio or TV due to the difficulty of collecting that information.