Anna Nicole Smith Story Fans Give Media High Marks

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News consumers still think the media are over-covering the death of Anna Nicole Smith, but apparently the quality of that over-coverage is better than the coverage of the war in Iraq, at least according to the news fan base for both stories.

That finding is based on a Pew Research Center poll in conjunction with the Project for Excellence in Journalism's ongoing news analysis of news sources on TV, radio, Internet and print.

According to the Pew poll of 100 adults 18-plus, of those who followed the Smith story very closely or fairly closely, two thirds said coverage was excellent or good, compared with only 40% giving the same marks to coverage of Iraq.

And how much you liked that war coverage apparently depends a lot more these days on your political philosophy.

A July 2003 Pew study found that those who felt the coverage was excellent or good did split along party lines, with 66% of Republicans, 61% of Democrats and 63% of Independents giving it those high marks. According to its latest poll, while 61% of Democrats still give the coverage those marks, only 47% of Independents do and only 40% of Republicans.