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PEJ: Economy, 2012 Presidential Race Dominate News Coverage

For the second week in a row, major national news outlets focused most closely on the economy and the 2012 presidential race.

The economy claimed 20% of the news hole, according to the latest Project for Excellence in Journalism News Coverage Index (for Sept. 12-18), while the presidential race, which has featured two Republican debates in as many weeks, was number two at 12%.

The economy was tops among all media sectors except cable, where the campaign was the number one story, fueled by CNN's Sept. 12 coverage of the Tea Party Republican debate.

The economy has been the top story so far this year, according to the index, with 18% of coverage since January. The Arab Spring story has been number two with 15%.

Two weeks ago, the economic news was focused on the President's Jobs bill speech, but last week it turned to the partisan battling over spending cuts and tax increases.

The third-most-covered story was the Talaiban attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul (6%), followed by Mideast unrest (5%) and the European Economy (4%).

The News Coverage Index looks at 52 outlets from five sectors: network TV, cable, online, print and radio.