The President's State of the Union address drew lots of
attention, but the president's message about post-Tucson unity and remaking the
economy was overtaken by a wave of protest out of Egypt, while the Tucson
shootings receded quickly into the background.
That is according to the Project for Excellence in
Journalism's News Coverage Index for 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 vs. 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
It does not include local radio or TV due to the difficulty of collecting that