Muted U.S. Public Reaction to British Tabloid Scandal

Friday, July 22, 2011


The U.S. media has been fascinated with the British tabloid phone hacking scandal and its widespread fallout. But according to polling by the Pew Research Center, the public doesn’t share the media’s obsession. Brooke speaks to Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut, who says that when  the public was asked which story they were following most closely, only 4 percent chose the phone hacking story.

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Comments [3]

Philip Prindeville from Portland, OR

I don't remember seeing OTM devote nearly as much attention when the NY Times ran a story on how the Bush Administration had been using data intercepts of international bank transfers to track down al Qaeda funding, even though that was clearly more impactful to the public good.

So the NY Times gets a pass, but News Corp doesn't?

Quelle surprise.

There's no limit to how far OTM will go to carry the progressives' water.

Jul. 30 2011 04:36 PM
Andy Raybould

This is a frustrating report, because the poll's question seems too simplistic to give a true picture, and consequently your conclusion appears to be stronger than can be supported by the answers. By asking only about the most closely followed story, the poll ignores the fact that many people can follow more than one story at a time. It is possible, for example, that a significant number of those questioned are concerned about what News Corp. is doing, but are also following the debt issue even more closely. Even if the poll-takers can show that, statistically, the most-followed issue is a good proxy for total interest (and I would like to see the evidence before I accept that), it does not mean it applies in every case.

None of the the above implies that I think the story is much followed in the US; the point is that the poll throws little light on the question. This is by no means the first time this has happened, and if you ever get a slow week, I would be interested in hearing if, and under what assumptions, simplistic poll questions justify anything more than simplistic conclusions.

Jul. 23 2011 08:12 AM
Nat Wharton from right now I'm in Cape Cod

I'd love to hear OTM's take is on this incredible segment:

original article:

followup article:

I ask that you should feel free to avoid "fairness bias" in your coverage :).

Jul. 22 2011 09:37 PM

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