PEJ: Economy Tops News Coverage

Presidential election coverage up to biggest share to date
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U.S. economic news drew the most coverage from major national news organizations for the Oct. 10-16 reporting period, driven by the Occupy Wall Street protests, coverage of which grew for the third straight week.

That is according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's News Coverage Index, based on 52 national news organizations in five sectors.

Economic news claimed 24% of the coverage, up from 22% the previous week, when it was also the top category.

Number two was coverage of the presidential election at 19% of the news hole, its biggest share to date, followed by the attempt on the life of the Iranian Ambassador at 13%. The European economy and the Middle East unrest were tied for the fourth spot at 2% apiece.

Three weeks ago, the Wall Street protests only had a 2% share, which increased to 7% the following week and 9% last week. PEJ noted that the Tea Party protests in February 2009 started as only a blip on the coverage radar.

But the economic news was more than just the protesters. It included coverage of the failure of the President's jobs bill in the Senate and the unemployment rate.

Mitt Romney generated the most political coverage with news of an important endorsement, an attack on his religion -- he is Mormon -- and some stories pegging him as the eventual, "inevitable" nominee despite the gains by Herman Cain, who was also a major news maker as rivals took aim at his 9-9-9 tax plan.

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