Not surprisingly, the death of Michael Jackson was the dominant story in the news media last week. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found Jackson’s death made up 17% of the newshole, but accounted for 30% of the airtime on network news and 28% on cable news. As the graph shows, the morning shows devoted 56% of their airtime to Jackson, compared with 20% in the evening.
The second-biggest story last week was the ongoing economic crisis followed by Iraq, as U.S. troops withdrew from key cities. The 6% coverage of the war in Iraq was the highest level of coverage for that story in all of 2009.