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The Year in News 2011, Global Christianity, Government and Polticis, Digital Communications Abroad, Local News


December 22, 2011

The Year in the News 2011

Coverage of Economy and International News Jumps in a Year of Major Breaking Stories
The faltering U.S. economy was the No. 1 story in the American news media in the last year, but 2011 was also characterized by a jump of more than a third in coverage of international news. Those are among the findings of The Year in the News 2011, a report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism based on analysis of some 46,000 stories in newspapers, online sites, television, radio and social media. Read more and use our News Interactive 2011 tool to explore news coverage by sectors of the media, categories, topics, newsmakers and geography.

The Stories the Public Followed the Most in 2011
The threat of nuclear disaster in Japan and the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs were two of the breaking news stories that captured the greatest amount of public attention in 2011. But Americans also kept a steady watch on the economy at home. More than half said they followed news about rising fuel prices very closely in April, while the struggling economy remained a top story throughout the year. Read more

Global Christianity

The Size of the World’s Christian Population and the Shift in Its Distribution
Christians make up about the same proportion of the world's population today as they did a century ago. But there has been a momentous shift in where they live. Europe and the Americas still are home to a majority of the world’s Christians, but that share is much lower than it was in 1910. At the same time, Christianity has grown enormously in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, where there were relatively few Christians at the beginning of the 20th century. Read more and see also our interactive map and data tables to survey Christian populations by region and country.

Government and Politics

Tax System Seen as Unfair, in Need of Overhaul
Public dissatisfaction with the tax system has grown over the past decade. The public's frustration is not with how much they themselves pay, but rather the impression that wealthy people are not paying their fair share. A majority of Americans say that so much is wrong with the tax system that Congress should completely change it. Read more

Public Opinion Four Years Ago and Now as a New Election Approaches
Four years ago, as voters were about to cast the first ballots in the 2008 election, the public’s mood was not very good, but it was still a lot better than it is today. Read more

Digital Communications Abroad

Texting, Social Networking Popular Worldwide
Two kinds of digital communication that are popular in the United States -- texting with cell phones and use of social networks -- are also popular in many places around the world. Text messaging has become a global phenomenon and use of social networks is popular, especially in wealthier nations that have higher rates of internet access. Read more

News Index

Gingrich Rise Fuels Campaign Coverage
The latest GOP presidential frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, has now been become the top campaign newsmaker after weeks of attention to Herman Cain and allegations about his personal behavior. Gingrich's rise to the top of the polls helped put the 2012 presidential campaign at the top of the news agenda again, accounting for 24% of last week's newshole. Read more

This Week's Featured Resource

War and Sacrifice in the Post-9/11 Era
America’s post-9/11 wars mark the longest period of sustained combat in the nation’s history – and never before has America waged war with so small a share of its population carrying the fight. Using Pew Research Center surveys of veterans and the general public, this series examines the rewards and burdens of military service and explores the gaps in understanding between those have who served in the armed forces and those who have not. See the whole series

Daily Number

82% to 95% - Confidence in Democracy and Capitalism Wanes in Former Soviet Union
Two decades after the Soviet Union's collapse, Russians, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians are unhappy with the direction of their countries and disillusioned with the state of their politics. A survey conducted in March and April by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project found that 82% of Russians believe politicians have benefited a great or fair amount from the changes over the last two decades. That view is shared by 91% of Lithuanians and 95% of Ukrainians. Read more


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