March 24, 2014

The Erik Wemple Blog yesterday appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” where we endorsed the “overcoverage” of the missing Malaysia Airlines plan on CNN itself. Blowback followed on — where else? — Twitter:

Perhaps we should have cheered even more energetically for plane coverage, in light of fresh data from venerable Pew Research Center for People and the Press. The center conducted a series of phone interviews across the country in recent days from March 20-23, 2014 among a national sample of 1,002 adults. And what did it find? That 48 percent of those surveyed found the coverage just about right. And! Twelve percent said there was “too little” coverage of MH370:

pewmalaysia

Twelve percent! Here’s betting that those folks don’t watch much CNN.

Now back to reality. As the chart clearly shows, a greater percentage believes that there has been overcoverage of the Malaysia Airlines jet than the two other stories — Russia/Crimea and Obamacare. And at the same time, there’s much more interest in the jetliner than in other current topics:

malaysiainterest

Pew took pains to gauge the partisan loyalties of those who were fed up with jetliner coverage: Forty-one percent of Republicans fell into the too-much-coverage basket, while only 25 percent of Democrats did. That split couldn’t have anything to do with Republican skepticism of the mainstream media, could it?

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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