Last updated: September 13, 2011 - 8:27am
The president’s speech on job creation drove the news agenda last week, making the economy the No. 1 story despite sharing the week with a lively GOP presidential debate, a special 9/11 anniversary and a new terror threat.
Deepening concerns over a double-dip recession, and coverage of Barack Obama’s answer to them, helped the economy fill 28% of the newshole during the week of September 5-11, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That was significantly more coverage than the economy generated the week before, when it was the No. 2 story, at 16% of the newshole. Obama’s September 8 speech, which introduced a $447 billion package aimed at creating new jobs, was treated by the media as a high-stakes event with implications not only for averting another recession, but also for his presidency. And the pundit reaction to it seemed to break down primarily along partisan lines. The speech accounted for almost two-thirds of all economic coverage last week. Obama himself was the lead newsmaker in over 50% of all economy stories last week.
Last week’s Republican presidential debate made the 2012 election the No. 2 subject last week, at 15% of the newshole, roughly doubling coverage from the week before. The media narrative about the September 7 event held at the Reagan Library in California focused largely on the battle between two front-runners, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Some accounts noted the conspicuously small role Michele Bachmann played in the debate.
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