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Pew: News Coverage Focuses on Economy, News Corp. Scandal Distant Second

The News Corp. News of the World phone hacking scandal was the second biggest news story last week, though a distant second, behind the economy in terms of news coverage devoted to it. Democrats were far more interested in rubbernecking at the journalistic crash site than Republicans.

According to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism News coverage index for July 11-17, 12% of the news hole was devoted to the scandal compared to 37% for the economy.

The other stories in the top five in terms of coverage were Afghanistan at 5%, the 2012 presidential election at 4% and Middle East unrest at 3%.

That 12% news hole for the News Corp. story dovetailed with findings from Pew's News Interest Index for July 14-17. It found that 12% of the respondents said they were "very closely following" the story. But there was a major political divide. According to the index, 21% of Democrats said they were following the News Corp. news closely, while only 5% of Republicans said the same thing.

The News Interest Index was based on a survey of 1,006 adults. The Coverage Index is a content analysis of 52 national media outlets across five major sectors.