Every year, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism breaks down news coverage by topic and medium, then determines what percentage of the news hole each topic filled in a given calendar year (more on methodology here). Spurred by politics-oriented reform coverage and the H1N1 pandemic, health had dominated the news in late 2009 and early 2010, but by year’s end it had fallen behind the economy (14 percent), the mid-term elections (10 percent) and the BP oil spill (7 percent).
Interestingly, it seems that as the supply dropped, public demand for health coverage was actually surging. April’s health care debate ranked behind only the BP oil spill in Pew’s list of events for which public interest exceeded media coverage. Health was also one of many subjects which ranked in the top five in blogs and traditional media, but couldn’t even crack the top 10 on Twitter. For the record, Twitter’s four favorite topics were Apple, Google, Twitter and Facebook, in that order.