PEJ: Midterm Elections ‘Biggest Story in 2010’

By Alex Weprin 

Media coverage of the 2010 midterm elections proved to be the biggest news story in two years, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s News Coverage Index. According to PEJ, the midterms were the fourth biggest news story since it started the index four years ago. The top three stories were all related to the 2008 Presidential election.

The election filled up an unbelievable 57% of the total newshole November 1-7. On network TV the elections took up 55% of the newshole, while on cable news it took up a whopping 72% of the coverage.

The number two story was the U.S. economy which took up 7% of the coverage, followed by the failed terror bomb plot, which took up 5% of the coverage

As usual, the top “newsmaker” for the week was president Barack Obama, with the focus not surprisingly on the Democratic losses in Congress. Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and incoming Speaker John Boehner finished second and third, respectively. Fourth was Senator Harry Reid, who won his election in Nevada against Sharron Angle, and Lisa Murkowski was fifth.