The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were on the periphery of both the American public’s and news media’s radar in 2010. Just 1% of the total news coverage last year was devoted to events related to and policy debates about the Iraq war. In no single week did Iraq consume more than 10% of the newshole. With the exception of a week in September, during a large troop withdrawal, most of the public reported they were not following events in Iraq very closely when surveyed throughout the year. The war in Afghanistan accounted for only 4% of the year’s newshole. Most of this attention was driven by two events: the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and a WikiLeaks document dump. As with Iraq, most Americans, throughout the year, said they were not following events related to the war very closely. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.