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TV News Devotes 28 Hours to Michael Jackson; 93% of Cable Airtime

The death of Michael Jackson dominated the news coverage late last week but wasn’t the #1 story, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found.

Early in the week the media gave ongoing attention to protests over the Iranian election. And by the end of the week Iran filled 19% of the newshole, making it the No. 1 topic of the week. By Wednesday attention shifted to the third biggest story of the week – the affair of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.

But the passing of the “King of Pop” on Thursday, the #2 story of the week, dominated late week coverage. The TV nets devoted more than 28 hours to Jackson’s life and death. The cable nets devoted 93% of their airtime to Jackson on Thursday and Friday.

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