Last updated: December 23, 2011 - 12:23am
Coverage of the 2012 presidential race reached its second highest level of the year last week and the campaign narrative increasingly focused on the battle between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, fueled in part by conservative commentators beginning to weigh in on the choice between them.
From December 12-18, the campaign accounted for 27% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, up from 24% the previous week. That marks the fifth time in seven weeks that that the campaign has been the top story in the U.S. news media as measured by PEJ’s News Coverage Index, which tracks the media agenda by monitoring 52 different news outlets from newspapers, online, cable news, broadcast news and on radio. The race for president was the No. 1 story last week in three of the five media sectors studied, network news, radio news and particularly cable news, where it accounted for a little more than half (51%) of the airtime studied.