There is more public interest in last week’s shooting in Newtown, Conn., than there has been in any mass shooting since Columbine, according to data from phone interviews conducted between Friday and Sunday with about 1,000 U.S. adults. Pew found:
Nearly six-in-ten (57%) say they followed news about the Newtown shooting very closely, making it by far the public’s top story last week. News interest in the Newtown shooting is higher than for other recent gun tragedies, including shootings in Aurora, Colo. (41% very closely), Tucson, Ariz. (49% very closely), and Virginia Tech (45% very closely). In April 1999, somewhat more followed news about shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. very closely (68%).
A majority of elementary school parents (71 percent) are restricting how much of the coverage their children see, Pew reports, while about one-third of middle- and high-school parents say they’re limiting their child’s exposure to coverage.