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Midterms Dominate News Hole: PEJ Index

The midterm elections dominated new coverage for the week of Oct. 25-31, according to the latest Project for Excellent in Journalism News Coverage Index, with a particular focus on tea party candidates and some internal drama in the Democratic party.

The index claimed that 42% of the news hole involved the elections, up from 38% the week before, and that news organizations devoted seven times as much time and space to the subject as the number two story. That makes the election the second-biggest story of the year after health care the week of March 22-28, when the reform bill passed.

The story topped all five media sectors studied, led by cable at 57%, and radio at 56%.
The number two story was the economy at only 6% of the news hole, followed by the terrorist plots uncovered (5%), and the oil spill and Afghan war (3% apiece).

The PEJ Index comprises approximately 1,000 stories from 52 different outlets across five sectors: print, online, network TV, and cable and national radio.