Antagoniste


24 avril 2009

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Poids média de l'actualité américaine (13-19 Avril) selon le Pew Research Center:

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Economy Shares Headlines with Pirates, Tea Parties and Waterboarding

For the second week in a row, the economic crisis only narrowly edged out Somali pirates as the top story in what is becoming a more diverse news landscape than earlier in the year.

With media attention to the financial meltdown falling to less than 50% of its level a month ago, an obvious question emerges: As the news about the economy gets modestly better, and the torrent of grim news slows, is the story attracting less attention than it did when things seemed more dire?

For the week of April 13-19, the financial crisis accounted for 18% of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. While that’s a small increase over the previous week (15%), it marks the third in a row when the subject has accounted for less than 20% of the coverage. By contrast, it filled 43% of the newshole in the first two months after Barack Obama’s inauguration.

One effort last week to summarize the state of the economy, a front-page story in the April 15 Washington Post, began with the sentence, “The president and the Federal Reserve chairman voiced cautious optimism yesterday that the economy could be beginning to stabilize.” Perhaps a storyline that ambiguous and tenuous helps explain why the media have diverted their attention to pirates and other events in recent weeks.

Indeed, the economy last week was rivaled by the dramatic story of piracy, hostages and freedom on the high seas. In the days following the April 12 rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, the Somali pirates accounted for 16% of the week’s coverage. And the saga was the top story on both cable news and broadcast network news. The No. 3 story—the war on terror at 7%—was fueled by the disclosure of memos detailing controversial interrogation techniques during the Bush administration.

The No. 4 story (also at 7%) involved the April 15 tea party protests. But it also proved to be something of a journalistic Rorschach test, generating very different levels and kinds of coverage in different media sectors. In some quarters (most notably the Fox News Channel), the protests were largely treated as an outpouring of grassroots dissatisfaction with tax policy and expanding federal government. In others (most notably MSNBC), they were often dismissed as anti-Obama anger fests centrally orchestrated by Republicans looking for an issue.

And so last week, the tea parties became a vehicle for the ideologically driven arguments that had been a significant part of the earlier media narrative about the stimulus package and Obama’s proposed budget. Recently, as those partisan battles over economic policy have subsided and news from the banking sector has brightened a bit, coverage of the meltdown has plunged.Source:
journalism.org
Economy Shares Headlines with Pirates, Tea Parties and Waterboarding


1 avril 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Citation de la semaine
"Some executives there had hired private security firms to protect their homes. Children have been threatened on their college campuses."
—ABC News web site about the AIG bonus

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (23-29 mars) selon le Pew Research Center:

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Geithner’s Plan Drives the Narrative

The media’s ever-changing economic narrative shifted again last week, moving away from a reviled insurance company toward a beleaguered Obama Administration official.

With Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner unveiling a financial sector rescue package and calling for stricter regulation, the economic crisis was once again overwhelmingly the top story last week. It filled 41% of the newshole from March 23-29 as measured by the Pew Research Center’s Project in Excellence. While that represented a drop from the previous week’s coverage (53%), it is in line with the overall level of attention to the crisis (43%) in the two months since Barack Obama was inaugurated. The No. 2 story last week, concerns over Mexican drug smuggling, was about one-seventh as big as the economy.

Geithner’s proposal to clean up the so-called “toxic assets” made him the week’s second-biggest newsmaker, behind only Obama. At a time when public perception and confidence can have a significant impact on the economy, the Treasury Secretary was looking for what golfers call a mulligan—or in more common parlance, a do-over.  Back on February 10, when he first outlined a financial sector bailout proposal, Geithner was widely panned for poor presentation, criticized for a lack of specifics and blamed for a 382-point drop in the Dow that day. (“Geithner Plan Lacks Freshness and Clarity,” declared the Washington Post headline that pretty much summed up the coverage.)

Geithner’s March 23 proposal generated a warmer reception, particularly on Wall Street where the Dow shot up 497 points. “This Time, Geithner’s Plan for Banks Makes Sense,” declared the headline on business writer Joe Nocera’s New York Times column.  Praise was far from unanimous, though, and a Congressional hearing held during the week kept some of the focus on AIG.

Source:
journalism.org
Geithner’s Plan Drives the Narrative


25 mars 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Citation de la semaine
"CNN [had] solved the mystery of those who were involved in the legislative loophole that allowed the AIG bonuses to go through. It was the Obama Treasury Department and Senator Chris Dodd".
—Dana Bash (CNN) about the AIG bonus

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (16-22 mars) selon le Pew Research Center:

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One Story Dominates: AIG in the Crosshairs

Last week, the media narrative for a complex economic crisis got much simpler. The coverage focused on one corporate villain and one angry public.

With news of the AIG bonuses driving that narrative, the economic crisis generated its highest level of weekly coverage to date. From March 16-22, it filled 53% of the newshole according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That not only marks a major increase over the previous week (35% of the newshole). It is the highest level of weekly coverage for any story other than the 2008 presidential campaign since PEJ started its News Coverage Index in January 2007.

As further evidence of the week’s lopsided news coverage, the No. 2 story, turmoil inside Pakistan, was all the way back at 3% of the newshole.

The catalyst for last week’s news agenda was the revelation that failing insurance giant AIG—which had received about $180 billion in bailout funds—was paying out $165 million in bonuses. As fallout spread from Capitol Hill to the Connecticut homes of AIG officials, the bonus story accounted for more than half the economic crisis coverage. And the overarching theme was outrage.

“A.I.G. is a P.I.G.,” shouted the front page headline of the New York Daily News as a U.S. Senator suggested the company’s executives either resign or “go commit suicide.”

There were some alternative voices in the press, such as the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin who wrote that, “Maybe we have to swallow hard and pay up, partly for our own good.” But that view was eclipsed in coverage that also tried to assess the collateral political damage, particularly to President Obama and his beleaguered Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

In one clear marker of how thoroughly the AIG story permeated the media landscape, Tonight host Jay Leno had barely exchanged pleasantries with Obama on his March 19 show when he dove straight into the subject. “I know you are angry — because, you know, doing what I do, you kind of study body language a little bit,” he told Obama. “And you looked very angry about these bonuses. Actually, stunned.”

Source:
journalism.org
One Story Dominates: AIG in the Crosshairs


18 mars 2009

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Citation de la semaine
"The last thing the President wanted was a high-profile ceremony as he signed a bill stuffed with pork barrel spending — including such items as $950,000 for a Myrtle Beach South Carolina convention center and $238,000 for a Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii."
—Chip Reid (ABC News) about the $410 billion spending package

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (9-15 mars) selon le Pew Research Center:

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Media Focus on Economic Villains: Bonuses, Bernie and Blather

In a week highlighted by a rise in the stock market and a showdown between a comedian and cable host, the financial crisis was again the top story in the news—by a wide margin.

The economic meltdown, with its spreading storylines, accounted for 35% of the newshole from March 9-15, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. Related stories, such as the Bernard Madoff scandal and problems in the auto industry, added another 8%, as measured by PEJ’s weekly News Coverage Index, an examination of 55 different mainstream news outlets across five media sectors.

Last week, the narrative seemed to focus more on what had been a smaller but ongoing element, the hunt for people or institutions that appear to embody the nearly unbridled excess that contributed to the unraveling of the financial system.

One earlier example was former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, who generated attention and scorn for spending more than $1 million to refurbish his office. Or troubled Citigroup, recipient of billions in bailout money, which made headlines with plans to buy a $50-million jet—before reversing course.

Last week, that spotlight moved back onto insurance giant and multiple-bailout recipient AIG, which was lampooned as a financial “black hole” by late night host Jay Leno. Over the weekend, AIG also made front-page news that provoked populist and political outrage after revelations the company would pay a reported $165 million in bonuses despite taking $170 billion in federal funds, and the storyline appeared to be spilling over into this week as week as well.

Another culprit also emerged during the week—the media itself, particularly the financial cable news channel CNBC. Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show, had recently spent time fingering CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, among others. Things culminated on March 12, when Stewart, channeling Mike Wallace, grilled Cramer and accused CNBC of abandoning journalism for cheerleading in the run-up to the Wall Street collapse. The encounter, complete with Stewart’s four-letter expletives, became an instant online video hit and made its way to the White House, where Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters he had “enjoyed it thoroughly.” By week’s end, the feud had become a major event in the mainstream press, page one material and a Twitter favorite.

Madoff, perhaps the single-most-visible villain in this run of economic bad news, also attracted substantial attention last week for pleading guilty to bilking investors in a $65 billion Ponzi scheme. By himself, Madoff was the No. 3 story of the week, filling 7% of the newshole.

Source:
journalism.org
Media Focus on Economic Villains: Bonuses, Bernie and Blather


10 mars 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Citation de la semaine
"Wall Street, as one analyst I spoke to put it today, is underwhelmed by what’s going on in Washington"
—Betsy Stark (ABC News) about Obama’s stimulus and financial sector bailout plans

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (2-8 mars) selon le Pew Research Center:

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Falling Stocks and Rising Rush Fuel the News

Last week, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell to a 12-year low, coverage of the ever-worsening economic crisis shifted again to yet a new narrative.

Led by falling stock prices, the financial meltdown accounted for 43% of the newshole from March 2-8 as measured by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That is up modestly from the previous week when the story registered at 38% of the newshole.

In the six full weeks since President Obama’s inaugural—January 26-March 8—the economic crisis has accounted for 43% of the newshole. (And that does not include related stories, such as the U.S. auto industry or Obama’s February 24 speech to Congress.) That is roughly six times more than the next biggest story—the logistics and evaluations of the new administration—which registered at 7%.

These numbers for the floundering economy in 2009 conjure up comparisons to the Presidential election in 2008. It is an ongoing saga that shows no signs of abating (at least the campaign had an ending date) and is consuming the overwhelming share of media attention. In the same period in 2008—one that included Super Tuesday and other key primaries—the election filled 46% of the newshole, and the economy was the second-biggest story at 6%. The numbers are remarkably similar.

Aside from the sheer gravity of the situation—comparisons to the Great Depression are increasingly creeping into the media narrative—the other striking feature in the coverage is the complexity and breadth of the economic problems, which also suggest a story with massive staying power. Last week marked the fourth time in four weeks that a different component of the crisis was the top storyline.

As the key player in the economy story, Obama has easily been the top newsmaker since taking office. But last week he shared some headlines with a subject at least partly of his own choosing. The No. 2 story, at 8%, revolved around Republican Party leadership with the focus on conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh. The White House and other Democrats are aggressively portraying Limbaugh as the GOP’s de facto leader, a task made somewhat easier when Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele became the latest member of his party to follow critical comments about Limbaugh with a quick mea culpa.

Obama versus Limbaugh was, in many ways, a classic tale of political tactics and inside-the-Beltway intrigue. But last week, it may have offered the media—and news consumers—a bit of a distraction from pink slips, zombie banks and fleeing investors.

Source:
journalism.org
Falling Stocks and Rising Rush Fuel the News


4 mars 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Citation de la semaine
"A moment for more radicalism than might have seemed possible only a couple of months ago…"
—Atlantic Media blogger Andrew Sullivan about Obama's Budget

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (23 février-1 mars) selon le Pew Research Center:

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The New Obama Narrative: “Change” was an Understatement

In a week chock full of major events designed to address the crisis—a fiscal responsibility summit, a prime-time presidential speech and the unveiling of Obama’s first budget—the increasingly frail state of the U.S. economy again dominated the headlines.

And amid the swirl of events, a media meta narrative was forming that was considerably greater than the sum of the news: After only five weeks in office, Obama was staking his presidency on a stunning and sweeping overhaul of domestic priorities.

Driven primarily by the Obama budget and concerns over the nation’s red ink, the economic crisis was easily the top story from February 23-March 1, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. It filled 38% of the newshole, compared with 39 % the previous week. But that is only a partial indicator of the dominance of economic news last week.

The second biggest story (10% of newshole), was Obama’s Feb. 24 speech—delivered to Congress but aimed at living rooms—intended to strike a balance between reassurance and urgency about the country’s economic stability. Coverage of the failing U.S. auto industry accounted for another 2%. Some of the media’s attention to the mechanics of the new Administration last week also included an analysis of Obama’s ambitious efforts at domestic restructuring.

Source:
journalism.org
The New Obama Narrative: “Change” was an Understatement


24 février 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Citation de la semaine
"This is America! How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills?"
—CNBC reporter Rick Santelli

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (16-22 février) selon le Pew Research Center:

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Fresh Challenges, New Debates Drive a Grim Economy Story

A month into the Obama administration, the economic crisis appears to shifting from Job One to the worsening mega story of 2009. There were shifting elements in that crisis narrative last week. But the underlying message may be the frightening breadth and depth of the problem.

From February 16-22, coverage of the growing financial turmoil accounted for 40% of the newshole as measured by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism—the fourth week in a row it has reached or exceeded 40%. That represents a modest drop from 47% the week of Feb. 9-15. But those numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Last week, it was the variety of grim storylines that seemed as ominous as anything else. With the stimulus package signed into law, that narrative subsided. But as Obama rolled out his mortgage rescue plan, coverage of the housing and foreclosure problems rose up in its place. So did the troubled auto industry, which last week requested billions more in bailout funds. In addition some coverage of the mechanics of the new administration dealt with the economy’s impact on Obama’s relations with Congress.

In a sign of how the big domestic crisis is eclipsing coverage of other challenges facing the country, Obama last week approved a major escalation—17,000 additional troops—of the increasingly worrisome war in Afghanistan. That story accounted for only 3% of last week’s coverage—about the same amount generated by the fallout over the chimp who mauled a Connecticut woman.

Source:
journalism.org
Fresh Challenges, New Debates Drive a Grim Economy Story


18 février 2009

Top 5 USA États-Unis Top Actualité

Citation de la semaine
"Politically, Republicans are relieved by Obama's weak start. Obama allowed the GOP to begin the term with a reinvigorating series of intellectually successful assaults on the stimulus bill."
—Weekly Standard's William Kristol

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (9-15 février) selon le Pew Research Center:

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Stimulus Success Shifts the Storyline

Whatever difficulties Barack Obama has faced in controlling the tone of his coverage as President, he has surely dictated the subject matter. Obama made the economic crisis his top priority, and in his first weeks in office, coverage of the meltdown has overwhelmed the news agenda.

The President may not control the message, but he still controls the agenda.

The week of Feb 9-15, the financial crisis filled 47% of the newshole as measured by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That is the highest level of attention to any story since the final week of the presidential campaign consumed 54% of the time on TV and radio and space in print and online from Oct. 27-Nov. 2.

To put that into further perspective, in the first two months of 2008—which included key contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as well as Super Tuesday—the campaign accounted for 44% of all coverage studied. In the three full weeks since Obama’s inauguration, the economic crisis has accounted for 46%.

Last week, which ended with a stimulus bill on the President’s desk, also brought some change to the tone of coverage. A week earlier, with the stimulus bogged down in partisan rancor and Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle withdrawing from Cabinet consideration, media commentary reinforced the theme of Obama’s rocky start.

But the narrative was kinder to the President last week, with the stimulus approved (albeit with only three GOP votes) and polls showing Obama still enjoying high public approval ratings. On the media scorecard, apparently, a big legislative victory—even an imperfect one—goes into the win column.

And the most recent Cabinet glitch—Republican Judd Gregg’s withdrawal last week from Commerce Secretary consideration—didn’t have the same resonance as some previous ones. Coverage of the mechanics of the new administration—which included the Gregg episode—was at only 6% of the newshole. A week earlier, with the Daschle debacle as chief storyline, administration coverage filled nearly three times as much newshole (17%).

With the political struggle over the stimulus over, at least for now, one question is whether the news agenda will begin to broaden. Washington fights make it easy for the press to converge, cover and commentate. But as the Obama agenda now fans out to deal with everything from Afghanistan to Detroit, to what extent will the media follow?

Source:
journalism.org
Stimulus Success Shifts the Storyline


10 février 2009

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Citation de la semaine
"Obama has all but lost control of the agenda in Washington at a time when he simply can't afford to do so."
—Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh

Poids média de l'actualité américaine (2-8 février) selon le Pew Research Center:

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The News Narrative Turns Bearish on Obama

Two different stories combined to create one major media narrative last week—a new President off to a shaky start.

For the second week in a row the economic crisis was the dominant story in the news, filling 44% of the Feb. 2- Feb. 8 newshole in the weekly News Coverage Index produced by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The only other subject to generate significant attention was a related one, the new Obama Administration at 17% (up from 7% a week earlier).

But both stories contained themes depicted as negative for Obama—problems winning Republican votes on the stimulus package and no fewer than four Presidential nominees tainted by tax problems.

The President seemed to fuel rather than dispel the storyline by admitting “I screwed up” during a round of TV interviews. Obama “has all but lost control of the agenda in Washington at a time when he simply can't afford to do so,” wrote Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough went further, wondering if Obama was off to one of the roughest debuts in recent presidential history.

If the storyline seemed to pivot dramatically from a heady inauguration to a rocky transition, that sense was significantly magnified by the two platforms offering instant updates of the Beltway scoreboard, and both of them now firmly ideological. On cable news, a dominant theme among talking heads was Obama stumbling at the starting gate. On talk radio, conservative hosts grew even more aggressive in staking out their opposition to the new President.

Source:
journalism.org
The Economic Crisis Returns with a Vengeance