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PEJ: Jackson's Death, Aftermath Lead News Coverage

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

PEJ: Jackson's Death, Aftermath Lead News Coverage

Article excerpt

Despite a week that included some U.S. troops withdrawing from Iraq and Sarah Palin's surprise resignation, Michael Jackson's death and its aftermath still led news coverage, according to the latest Project for Excellence in Journalism's News Coverage Index.

The weekly PEJ survey, which monitors news stories across broadcast, cable, and print, found that between June 29 and July 5, some 17% of "newshole" was devoted to Jackson' s death and funeral plans. "And it has largely been a television story, accounting for 30% of the airtime studied on network news and 28% on cable news last week," the survey said. "In the network news universe, the morning shows devoted 56% of their airtime to Jackson, compared with 20% in the evening."

The second-largest story was the ongoing economic crisis, at 10% of coverage, followed by Iraq, at 6%, and the war in Afghanistan accounting for 5% of news time. Other findings in the report:

"Coverage in the week of June 29-July 5 saw two prominent stories nearly vanish from the news agenda. …

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