PEJ releases research results that are fairly shocking: In the nine months leading up to the current Wall Street crisis, coverage of the economy—“which includes themes such as gas prices, banking industry troubles, the housing crisis, and retail sales”—filled only 9.3 percent of the total news hole. And—even more shocking—in the month leading up to the meltdown, “press attention to the U.S. economy was at a low point for the year.” That low point would be 4.8 percent of the media newshole.
By comparison? The week of August 18-24, Veepstakes speculation—empty conjecture that, as Clint noted on Campaign Desk, was essentially meaningless in the end—filled a whopping 42 percent of the news hole.
Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.