Bin Laden’s Death Sets Record in the Media

Bin Laden’s death certainly drew attention away from the week’s other main event- the Royal Wedding. Whether you heard the news via Twitter, text message, 4chan, Facebook or an actual news outlet, the story was impossible to miss. So much so, that it set a record in media coverage.

The Pew Research Center’s “Project for Excellence in Journalism,” has been tracking the news since 2007. Bin Laden’s death set a record for accounting for the highest percentage of the news (since 2007)- 67 percent of all news was about Bin Laden’s death. Its only rival (within the Pew’s research project) was the Democrats nominating Barack Obama as their presidential candidate in 2008.

During the week of May 2- May 8, Bin Laden’s death accounted for 90 percent of all cable news’s airtime. Naturally, his death was covered from several angles: Pakistan’s involvement, its political implication, America’s reaction, etc.

The news should not be surprising to most Americans. The night of his death was unforgettable to most of us. In my Journalism 301 class, we all discussed our individual ways we found out- the majority of my peers found out via Twitter. The varying reactions were unescapable. The press coverage, particularly on the internet, was seemingly relentless. It almost seemed that the one thing that could capture America’s attention more than disaster or tragedy, was closure.

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