Surprise, Surprise: Blago Dominates The News

From the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism:

    The fallout from the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich filled more than a quarter of the newshole the week of Dec. 8-14—making it the biggest weekly story of 2008 unrelated to the economy or the election, according to a report from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

    The scandal (dubbed “Blago-gate”) accounted for 28% of the newshole last week. It generated more coverage than the Russia-Georgia conflict (26% from Aug. 11-17) and another big political scandal, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s involvement with a prostitute (23% the week of March 10-16). The Blagojevich narrative was the top story online, on cable and in radio and it filled 44% of the airtime on cable news last week.

    The embattled Blagojevich was also the top newsmaker from Dec. 8-14, appearing as a lead newsmaker in 10% of the overall stories. Incoming President Barack Obama was next (8%), followed by Jesse Jackson Jr., who was also featured prominently in Blago-gate stories, at 2%. In fourth place was missing toddler, Caylee Anthony (1%), and George Bush came next, also at 1%.

    These findings are part of PEJ’s running content analysis of media coverage, called the News Coverage Index, which studies 48 outlets from the five main media sectors.