Newsflash! Media Out of Step with the Public
1:57 PM, May 23, 2008 • By GARY ANDRES
For political junkies, it may be a finding against interest, but this recent Pew report demonstrates that the content of cable news coverage and Americans' news interest are out of sync. Media is heavily focused on the 2008 presidential race, devoting nearly 40% of its total coverage to this topic in mid-May. During the same period of time, however, one out of three (31%) Americans said gas prices were their greatest news interest, followed by information about the recent earthquakes in China (22%).
As Pew notes, obsession with politics is most pronounced on the cable side of the media business:
Moreover, the recent heavy focus on politics among cable outlets is not a new phenomenon:
And, while cable news coverage of the presidential campaign has increased in the past month, according to Pew, public interest in the campaign is well off its high:
Yet despite the surplus of political coverage, a news deficit still exists when it comes to Republicans, unless of course it's about the McCain campaign's relationship to lobbyists. Despite some important speeches from the presumptive nominee about his plans as president, Pew reports this:
I suppose this all makes sense. After all, if Keith Olberman actually had to explain the intricacies of why gas price have gone up -- instead of taking cheap shots at President Bush or smothering Barack Omama with political wet kisses -- he might have to do some homework.