The tumult in Cairo got more press in the United States than did recent crises in Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti, according to a new report.
(More from TIME.com: Watch a video dispatch from Cairo)
Around-the-clock coverage from Tahrir Square has helped turn the uprising in Egypt into the most-covered international news story of the last four years, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).
The organization’s weekly ‘news index’ finds that from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 2011, the story filled 56% of the America’s total news coverage based on a 52-outlet sample. Cable news led the way, dedicating about 76% of their ‘news hole’ to Egypt, they note.
That made Egypt the biggest international story in a week since the index started in 2007 and the fourth-biggest story of any kind, PEJ says. (Bigger domestic stories included two weeks of presidential campaign coverage in 2008 and the aftermath of the recent Tuscon attacks.)
Does that mean America has a renewed interest in international news?
Not necessarily. As notes Poynter, a leading journalism blog, it’s important to remember PEJ’s news index measures coverage, not interest — and there’s often a difference.
In this case, the PEJ’s figures from Jan. 24-30 suggest that coverage of the events outweighed the audience’s interest. During this period, the situation in Egypt was occupying about 20% of news coverage, but only 11% of those polled said news about protests the Middle East countries was the story they followed most closely that week. There is no word, yet, on whether that changed as the conflict stretched on.
Click here to read the full report.
(More from TIME.com: See how the uprising in Egypt has been portrayed in China)