Virginia Tech Shooting Dominated Cable Airtime


The Virginia Tech shootings denominated the news and  represented a whopping  76% of all the stories on cable news between April 15 and 20.

That's according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's ongoing News Coverage Index, which is based on content analysis of 48 news outlets.

The coverage of the massacre captured at least half of the news hole over the April 15 to April 20 time period in all the measured media. It received 50% of radio airtime and 62% of network TV news coverage.

The second-biggest story of the year in terms of percentage of coverage was the Iraq "surge" policy which garnered at 34% of coverage for the week of January 7-12.

The Virginia Tech shootings story dwarfed coverage of the second-biggest story pf the same week--the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales April 19 testimony got only 6%. Following was coverage of the  hundreds of deaths in Iraq (5%) and the Supreme Court's upholding of the partial birth abortion ban (3%).