Cain, Penn State Top PEJ News-Coverage Index

Washington -- Alleged sexual harassment and alleged sexual
abuse of children were the two top news stories for the Nov, 7-13 survey
period, according to the latest Project for Excellence in Journalism News
Coverage Index.

The 2012 presidential election was the top story, comprising
24% of the "news hole" of the national news organizations surveyed. Coverage
was driven not by the latest Republican debate -- or debate gaffe -- but by the
allegations of sexual harassment against GOP front-runner Herman Cain.

The allegations, which Cain has flatly denied, accounted for
more than half of all campaign coverage. Cable networks provided the most
coverage, using 39% of their news hole.

The second-biggest story was the sex-abuse scandal that has
roiled the Penn State University football team and former defensive coordinator
Jerry Sandusky, who has also denied those charges. The Penn State story --
which led to the dismissal of legendary football coach Joe Paterno and University
president Graham Spanier -- was the biggest sports-related scandal, in terms of
coverage, since PEJ launched its index in 2007.

Broadcast networks gave 24% of their news hole to the Penn
State story, with cable news next at 23%.

The third biggest story of the week was the economic crisis
in Europe (13%) and the announced resignation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi, ahead of the U.S. economy, which was the No. 4 story comprising g
8% of the news hole, its smallest percentage since August.

 Coverage of the
November elections was the fifth biggest story at 7%, with particular attention
on an Ohio vote to strike down a measure limiting unions and a Mississippi vote
not to declare a fertilized egg a person.

PEJ surveyed 52 national news outlets in online, network TV,
cable, radio and print.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.