Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Casey Anthony and the News

Just when you thought the nightmare might be over, the fine folks at Pew put out a really useful analysis of news coverage and interest in the trial of She Who Must Not Be Named (except in the title above, thus attracting web traffic and building my brand and all that other social networking crud).  Check the Pew study yourself rather than have me shamelessly lift their content here, Huffpost-like.  But there are a couple of key points I'd like to make note of and then comment on.
  • Nearly half of those surveyed said news organizations had been fair in the coverage of She Who Must Not Be Named.  Only 20 percent thought coverage had been unfair.  Thirty-one percent of respondents (apparently dead) had no opinion.  I'd love to see a breakdown of this question by the news network or social media consumed.
  • Lots of folks heard/read about you-know-who via social media -- 40 percent said "a lot" and, frankly, that's an awful lot.  I admit it, I heard about the verdict via Twitter and immediately called my wife.
  • Actual coverage of the who-know-who trial was high, so high it tied coverage of the national debt.  It may have felt like it was all her trial, all the time, but both stories tied at 17 percent of coverage.  I'm betting the numbers on HLN were, ahem, somewhat different.
  • But actual coverage is different than actual interest by real folks.  In this, She Who Must Not Be Named dominated coverage.  Far dominated, at 37 percent compared to 17 percent on the economy.  Nothing like a big trial to take our collective minds off a lousy economic situation.

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