Pew: Public interest in Newtown coverage exceeds all mass shootings since Columbine

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.

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  • YonderHero

    Load of …It is not a competition!!!

  • jclaytonshaw

    According to one post I saw, Roger Ebert nailed the curse of media involvement in an old column written after another school shooting:

    “When an unbalanced kid walks
    into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news
    drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is
    assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat
    Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I
    shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but
    me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers
    at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze
    of glory.”

  • sargeh

    So, now we’re keeping score?

  • NefariousNewt

    On the one hand, it is about time that Americans finally sat up and took notice of the spate of mass murders that plague our nation. On the other hand, it is a shame that it took the death of twenty children to spark that interest, as if the deaths in Aurora, Virginia Tech, Tuscon, and others were not of sufficient gravity to rouse us from our torpor on gun violence & gun control.