PEJ: Presidential Elections Top News Coverage

Economy coverage is second most covered according to weekly news coverage index
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National news outlets devoted the most coverage to the presidential election Nov. 28-Dec. 4 as Herman Cain suspended his campaign -- effectively ending his presidential bid in the wake of allegations of both sexual harassment and a longstanding affair.

That is according to Project for Excellence in Journalism's weekly News Coverage Index, based on a content analysis of 52 outlets in five media sectors.

Cain-driven election coverage accounted for 23% of the news hole. Cable had the highest percentage of campaign coverage at 47% of the airtime studied, driven by CNN and Fox interviews with Cain.

Broadcast network newscasts gave it 22% of their coverage, with 20% for radio, 13% for online and only 9% for newspapers.

The number two story in terms of coverage was the economy, driven by a number of plotlines including the expiring payroll tax cut, unemployment figures, retail sales and evacuation of Occupy Wall Street camps in LA and Philadelphia.

The European debt crisis came in at number three with 8%, followed by Middle East unrest at 5% and the NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at 3%.

Cain was the top newsmaker of the week, as he has been for every week since Oct. 31, except for Nov.14-20, when sexual molestation allegations against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's propelled him to the number one spot.

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