Last updated: January 19, 2011 - 9:57am
The aftermath of the January 8 shooting spree in Tucson dominated the American news media last week in a way events rarely do: the tragedy registered as the third-biggest story in a single week since PEJ began tracking coverage in January 2007.
From January10-16, the rampage that killed six and badly wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords accounted for 57% of the news coverage studied by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. In the past four years, only two stories—both about the 2008 election—generated more attention. The first was the nomination of Barack Obama and John McCain’s surprise selection of running mate Sarah Palin (69% from August 25-September 1). The second was the following week, September 1-7, when the Republicans held their national convention (58%). Aside from the sheer volume of media attention, what have the traumatic events in Tucson meant, as transmitted in the media narrative? This special report, combining PEJ’s weekly News Coverage Index with social media analysis technology from Crimson Hexagon, finds several key elements emerging.
- The Argument over Political Rhetoric was the No. 1 Storyline in the Tucson Coverage.
- Obama’s Speech Helped Cool the Debate over Angry Words -- to a Degree.
- A Tough Week for Sarah Palin in both Social and Mainstream Media
- The Gun Control Debate Gets Little Traction
- Middle East Unrest Biggest in Cable News
- Arizona Shootings Again Top the News
- Middle East Unrest Leads the News
- bin Laden's Death Dominates the News
- International Flavor to Last Week's News
- Tucson Dominates Blogs, Too
- A political Week in the Blogosphere
- Japan's Nuclear Crisis Overwhelms the News
- NRB: Liberal Backlash is Tucson's Next 'Tragedy'
- Fort Hood Shootings Top Interest, Coverage
- The Fort Hood Tragedy Highlights the Reporting Role of Social Media
- Midterm Results are the Biggest Story in 2010
- Arizona Rampage Dominates Public's News Interest
- Economy, Debate Drive News Narrative
- Campaign 2010