Crime ranked fourth last year among subjects covered by national news media in the United States in terms of percent of the “newshole” consumed, reports the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The survey included major newspapers, network and cable television, and key Web sites, but not local television. In the project’s annual report, only U.S. foreign affairs, elections, and non-U.S. news exceeded crime coverage in volume. Topics receiving less coverage included government, disasters, health, economics, life style, education, and business.
The Virginia Tech shootings last April was the single biggest news story of the year, taking up about half the news hole in the week they occurred. Western wildfires and U.S. Iraq policy ranked second and third. Looking at crime coverage by type of medium, crime accounted for 13 percent of the news hole on cable television, by the project’s count, followed by 7 percent on Web sites, 6 percent on nightly network television newscasts and 4 percent in newspapers.