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Pew: Irene Tops News Interest

Hurricane Irene was the story that most interested viewers and listeners last week, according to the Pew Research Center's weekly News Interest Index, while the Earthquake that shook up much of the East Coast was a distant third behind news on the economy.

The hurricane, which threatened the nation's top media market, New York, as well as other top markets Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, was the top story with 41% of those polled, followed by the struggling economy at 18%, with only 9% saying the earthquake was their top story.

And while the news media continued to cover the uprising in Libya, giving it 25% of the news hole, according to Pew, only 5% of those surveyed said that was the news they followed most closely.

The poll is based on a phone survey Aug. 25-28 among a national sample of 1,010 adults 18-plus.

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.