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Pew: Only 26% Of US Followed Zimmerman Trial

From Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:

Modest Public Interest in Close of Zimmerman Trial

Wider Race Gap in Interest than for Rodney King, O.J. Simpson

July 15, 2013

The final days of the trial of George Zimmerman, which concluded July 13 with a verdict of not guilty, attracted relatively modest public interest overall. In a weekend survey, 26% say they were following news about the trial very closely.

This is lower than interest in the initial controversy over Trayvon Martin’s shooting when it erupted last year. In March 2012, 35% said they followed news about Martin’s shooting very closely.

How sad.

However, the story has consistently attracted far more interest among blacks than whites – and that remained the case in the trial’s final days. Blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to say they tracked news about the Zimmerman trial very closely (56% vs. 20%).

Moreover, fully 67% of blacks say they watched at least some live coverage of the Zimmerman trial, compared with 38% of whites. About one-in-five blacks (21%) say they watched “almost all’’ of the trial coverage; just 5% of whites reported watching almost all of it…

What does that say about black unemployment, since the trial was only televised during the work week?

The Zimmerman trial and Trayvon Martin shooting have drawn less interest than some other racially charged incidents in recent years, including the riots that followed the Rodney King verdict in 1992 (70% very closely) and O.J. Simpson’s arrest in 1994 (48%)…

Could that possibly be due to there being a lot more TV channels than there were in 1992 and 1994?

Racial differences in interest about Martin’s shooting and its aftermath are wider than in interest in the police beating of Rodney King in March 1991, as well as the acquittal of the officers and subsequent riots in May 1992. The racial gap in interest in Martin/Zimmerman news also is wider than in O.J. Simpson’s arrest in June 1994 and his trial a year later.

Whatever happened to the post-racial age Obama promised us?

Nearly three times as many whites as blacks say they watched no live coverage of the Zimmerman trial (36% vs. 13%). About as many blacks reported watching at least some live coverage of the Zimmerman trial as watched the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995. In March of that year, 71% of blacks said they watched at least some trial coverage.

Whites are far less likely to say they tuned into the Zimmerman trial than the Simpson trial. In March 1995, half of whites said they watched at least some coverage of the Simpson court proceedings; today, 38% say the same about coverage of the Zimmerman trial…

For the entire survey period… 28% of those who use Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites reported hearing a lot about the Zimmerman trial from these sources…

Where they were sure to see highly professional journalism, for sure.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Pew: Only 26% Of US Followed Zimmerman Trial”

  1. Damn! Nobody saw Nancy Grace chumming the waters?

  2. Hispanic croaked some black thug. So? What’s that to me?

    (quoting an overheard conversation at the mall pretzel stand)

    Rachel Jenteal schooled us on Old School Juries vs. her world, and I will bet you crackers to black bean soup that this New World of low income voters are the only ones breathless in front of their ‘tubes. The rest of us have moved on to other media. Like maybe a good book.


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