14 July 2010

Lindsay and LeBron dominate news searches

According to Pew Research Center's latest weekly News Interest Index, interest in the Gulf oil leak has started to see a fall in the percentage of the public following the story closely.

An analysis of news searches across the last four months reveals a very similar pattern:

However, Pew's findings for the most popular news items reveals a marked difference to the most searched for stories.

In relation to its sampling methods, Pew states that "in addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls".

However, a quick look at the most searched for news stories, suggests respondents may in fact be attempting to appear somewhat more highbrow when speaking to Pew researchers.

In contrast to the oil leak and the immigration law debate, LeBron James move to the Miami Heat and Lindsay Lohan's 90-day jail sentence dominate online news interest.

According to Pew, large majorities actually said that news organizations gave too much coverage last week to Lohan’s legal woes (71%) and James’s announcement (61%).

With interest in Spain winning the World Cup third in online news searches, it seems that America is not quite ready to admit to an interest in either soccer or celebrity.

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