Osama and Obama Caught on Tape in a Flood of Idea Sharing
According to a Columbia University study titled “What Kind of News do People Really Want?” published sometime in 2007 reporting on “19 News Categories by Decade,” the following topics were “followed closely” by readers in order of importance to them:
War/Terrorism, Money, and Bad Weather led the list with Natural Disaster and Man-made Disasters close behind. Disasters were in the lead of other topics in years past. I suppose money disasters can be considered natural and man-made.
Health & Safety, Crime & Social Violence, Domestic Policy, Campaigns & Elections, Washington Politics and Other Politics are in the third tier.
Foreign Policy and Personalities, Entertainment, Celebrity Scandals are in the fourth tier.
I wonder how this tracks with NowPublic statistics that are no doubt available somewhere behind the scene.
I tried to come up with a headline that would embrace this new information as a test; now, for the right photo image to complete the picture and test.
Update: I have a feeling that the headline worked in attracting readers to the story, but, then you folks discovered that this is journalism research, and not the juicy story implied by the headline. Many of you were not crazy about the picture either, so I will try another.
"What Kind of News do People Really Want?
Pew report studies twenty years of American preferences
By Curtis Brainard
It’s almost fifty pages long, but well worth the read: a recent study by the Pew Research Center for People & the Press synthesizes 165 separate national surveys and finds that American news preferences have remained “surprisingly static” over the last twenty years. Tucked behind this central conclusion, however, is a suite of more intriguing observations about readership and audience habits.
Overall, the study found the percentage of people who follow the news “very closely” dropped from thirty percent during the 1980s to twenty-three percent during 1990s - but then jumped back to thirty percent during the twenty-first century. That swing has less to do with changes in information technology (from broadcast, to cable, to online) than with changes in world events - or “reality” as study author Michael J. Robinson described it. The dip in public attention during the last decade of the twentieth century was likely the result of relative peace and economic prosperity in the United States, he wrote: “The ’80s were more ‘interesting’; the ’90s, less so; the ’00s have been most interesting so far.”
The study broke down news in nineteen separate categories and then six “super categories.” Not surprisingly, war and terrorism have consistently ranked at the top of the stack since 1986, where the study begins. So have bad weather, and natural or manmade disaster stories, although the latter stand out for having witnessed a precipitous drop in public interest, one of the rare instances of significant change. In contrast, money news is the only category that has grown notably more popular with time. Crime, health, and politics have consistently ranked as mid-level interest categories. Science and technology, foreign news that is not directly related to the U.S., and tabloid and entertainment news have consistently ranked lowest in the public eye.”