Posts tagged coverage

Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the VP Candidate

As partisans double down and dig deep to define the vice presidential candidate, ProPublica has a great roundup of reporting from the last three years that explore his economic, foreign, and social policy positions.

Some of it’s familiar territory, some if it surprises. 

For example, Mother Jones’ Ryan’s Unlikely Alliance with Organized Labor (surprise), and the New York Times’ A Closer Look at Ryan’s Budget Roadmaps that indicates “the tax cuts in Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget plan would result in huge benefits for high-income people and very modest—or no— benefits for low income working households” (not a surprise).

ProPublica, Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the VP Candidate.

News Coverage of Trayvon Martin Case Drops But Still Public’s Top Story
Via the Pew Research Center:

For the third straight week, the controversy over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was the public’s top story, though coverage dropped considerably. A third of the public (33%) say they followed news about the death of the African American teenager in Florida more closely than any other news, about twice the percentage citing the economy (16%) or the 2012 elections (15%). News about the controversy made up 7% of coverage, down from 18% one week earlier, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).
African Americans continue to follow news about the controversy more closely than whites. About seven-in-ten blacks (72%) say they followed Trayvon Martin developments more closely than any other story, compared with 26% of whites. Looking at partisans, 45% of Democrats say this was their top story last week, three times the 15% of Republicans that say this. Among independents more than a third (36%) say this was their top story.

News Coverage of Trayvon Martin Case Drops But Still Public’s Top Story

Via the Pew Research Center:

For the third straight week, the controversy over the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was the public’s top story, though coverage dropped considerably. A third of the public (33%) say they followed news about the death of the African American teenager in Florida more closely than any other news, about twice the percentage citing the economy (16%) or the 2012 elections (15%). News about the controversy made up 7% of coverage, down from 18% one week earlier, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).

African Americans continue to follow news about the controversy more closely than whites. About seven-in-ten blacks (72%) say they followed Trayvon Martin developments more closely than any other story, compared with 26% of whites. Looking at partisans, 45% of Democrats say this was their top story last week, three times the 15% of Republicans that say this. Among independents more than a third (36%) say this was their top story.

Segments Covering Trayvon Martin on Cable News, Feb 26 to March 19.
Via ThinkProgress.

Segments Covering Trayvon Martin on Cable News, Feb 26 to March 19.

Via ThinkProgress.

Irene Hyped? Not Compared to Others

10: Rank of Hurricane Irene coverage by major news sources among all Atlantic Hurricanes since since 1980.

There’s been much discussion about whether Irene was overhyped. It’s true that from Friday through Sunday it seemed we were blanketed with every nuance about the storm but Nate Silver, the New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight blogger, digs into past coverage to gain some perspective.

What he discovers after a search through NewsLibrary.com, a database of news articles and transcripts, is that 2004’s Hurricane Ivan was the US media’s most covered storm. This is while the storm was actually taking place, not additional stories published about its aftermath. By comparison, Katrina comes in 14th place with fairly mundane coverage until the New Orleans levees actually broke.

Writes Silver:

It’s easy enough to conduct a series of searches on NewsLibrary.com in order to determine how much press coverage past Atlantic hurricanes have received. The only tricky part is that the further you go back in time, the fewer sources the database has available, so we’ll have to adjust for this.

We’ll accomplish this by creating a statistic which I’ll call the News Unit (or NU). This is defined by taking the total number of stories that mentioned the storm by name (for instance, “Hurricane Hugo” or “Tropical Storm Hugo”; either one is considered acceptable) and dividing by the average number of stories per day that were available in the NewsLibrary.com database during that period. I then multiply the result by 10 just to make things a little bit more legible — so essentially, a News Unit consists of one-tenth of all the stories published on a given day.

For instance, there were 13,326 stories published that used the term “Hurricane Gustav” or “Tropical Storm Gustav” during the period when that storm was active, from Aug. 25 through Sept. 4, 2008. And on average, there were 56,200 stories published per day during that period in the NewsLibrary.com database. Dividing 13,326 by 56,200, and then multiplying by 10, gives a result of 2.37. So Gustav produced 2.37 News Units worth of coverage while the storm was active.

Irene’s score by this measure is 2.25 News Units, which is on the high side but not extraordinary.

Specifically, it ranks 10th from among the 92 named tropical cyclones that made landfall in the United States since 1980.

This, of course, is just a raw measurement of how many news stories there were. For thoughts about what hype actually is, see Julie Moos’ article at Poynter: The 6 criteria for hype & why Hurricane Irene coverage does not meet them.

If you ask a bunch of political journalists to identify the biggest change in political reporting this election cycle, the answer comes in a short burst: “Twitter!” The microblogging service was founded in 2006 but played little if any role in the 2008 campaign. Now, however, it has become an indispensable tool.

Jodi Enda, American Journalism Review, Campaign Coverage in the Time of Twitter

See also, Matthew Ingram, GigaOm,  The Twitter effect: We are all members of the media now.

The snuffing of Osama Bin Laden has already filled the Snake River Canyon with a torrent of coverage from newspapers, the Web, and television. The news output will only expand in the coming days, and as it does, remain skeptical about it. As we know from the coverage of other major breaking-news events—the Mumbai massacre, the death of Pat Tillman, Hurricane Katrina, the rescue of Jessica Lynch, to cite just a few examples—the earliest coverage of a big story is rarely reliable…

…[T]he fog of breaking news almost always cloaks the truth, especially when the deadline news event is a super-top-secret military operation conducted by commandos halfway around the world and the sources of the sexiest information go unnamed.

If things are demonstrably untrue, should you continue with truthiness?

John Stewart interviews Anderson Cooper.

By way of background, an overview of the criticism leveled against Cooper for calling liars liars can be read here.

For the past four years the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism’s News Coverage Index has tracked the most reported stories in the US media.
This week, it reports that the protest movement in Egypt is the biggest international story the organization has tracked in that time.


Last week’s turmoil in the Middle East registered as the biggest international story in the past four years—surpassing any coverage of the Iraq war, the Haiti earthquake and the conflict in Afghanistan.

From January 31-February 6, the Mideast saga, driven by televised images of the protests and power struggle in Egypt, filled 56% of the newshole studied by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Not only was that easily the biggest overseas story in a single week since PEJ began its News Coverage Index in January 2007. It registered as the fourth-biggest story of any kind—trailing only two weeks in the 2008 presidential campaign and the aftermath of the January 8, 2011 Tucson shooting spree.

As Poynter’s Scott Libin notes:

The attention Egypt earned last week is a dramatic departure for mainstream media in this country. They chose a dangerous, distant and expensive story over one [US snowstorms] that was easier to understand, closer to home and far cheaper to cover.

All that said, the amount of coverage the story has gotten doesn’t quite translate into viewer attention. Only 11% of Americans say that Egypt — and the Mideast in general — was the story they tracked most closely.

For the past four years the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism’s News Coverage Index has tracked the most reported stories in the US media.

This week, it reports that the protest movement in Egypt is the biggest international story the organization has tracked in that time.

Last week’s turmoil in the Middle East registered as the biggest international story in the past four years—surpassing any coverage of the Iraq war, the Haiti earthquake and the conflict in Afghanistan.

From January 31-February 6, the Mideast saga, driven by televised images of the protests and power struggle in Egypt, filled 56% of the newshole studied by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Not only was that easily the biggest overseas story in a single week since PEJ began its News Coverage Index in January 2007. It registered as the fourth-biggest story of any kind—trailing only two weeks in the 2008 presidential campaign and the aftermath of the January 8, 2011 Tucson shooting spree.

As Poynter’s Scott Libin notes:

The attention Egypt earned last week is a dramatic departure for mainstream media in this country. They chose a dangerous, distant and expensive story over one [US snowstorms] that was easier to understand, closer to home and far cheaper to cover.

All that said, the amount of coverage the story has gotten doesn’t quite translate into viewer attention. Only 11% of Americans say that Egypt — and the Mideast in general — was the story they tracked most closely.