The Cutline

Aside from bin Laden killing, not much coverage of Obama administration in 2011

Dylan Stableford
The Cutline

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The Situation Room, May 2, 2011. (White House/Flickr)

With the tsunami in Japan and revolutions in the Middle East, it's no surprise that coverage of international news jumped in 2011, according to the year-end report by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. Nor is it shocking that Pew found news coverage of the economy dominated the American news hole--with 20 percent of all news stories focused on economic issues.

What is mildly surprising is how little coverage by the U.S. news media was devoted to the Obama administration. Of the 46,000 stories analyzed by Pew, just 2 percent were focused on the White House. The news media paid more attention to the European economy than the administration, according to the report.

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Those numbers, however, could be a little misleading. After all, the killing of Osama bin Laden--an operation orchestrated by Obama and the White House--accounted for 2 percent of the news hole--and 69 percent of all news the week it happened, making it the biggest one-week story ever recorded by Pew.

Similarly, the White House was inherent in the coverage of the economy, Afghanistan, health care and 2012 election--which, combined, accounted for more than 35 percent of all news stories in 2011.

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The percentage of news stories about the administration was virtually unchanged from a year ago, when the economy also dominated the headlines. The BP oil spill, which accounted for 7 percent of the media's attention in 2010, did not register this year.

Click here for the full PEJ report.

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