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Water, Water Everywhere: Swimming Dominates Olympics Coverage

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Water, Water Everywhere: Swimming Dominates Olympics Coverage

Article excerpt

News coverage of the Summer Olympics in Beijing has been focused mostly on three sports and one athlete, swimmer Michael Phelps, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. "News about swimming and diving was easily the most popular Olympic subject, accounting for nearly 40% of all the coverage in the first week of the Games," the report said. "Gymnastics came next with 11%, while track and field constituted another 10%. No other competition came close to generating that much attention. "Swimmer Michael Phelps, with his record-setting eight gold medal performance, was the focus of more than one-quarter of all the stories studied, generating seven times more media attention than the next most covered athlete," the survey added. In addition, it revealed that "China and the Olympics combined were the No. 2 news story during the two weeks studied (behind presidential campaign news), due in part to the network that aired the games. NBC devoted almost half of its newshole to those stories in that period, roughly three times the amount of news coverage other outlets produced." The report is based on an analysis of more than 390 news stories about China or the Olympic games from Aug. …

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