The news cycle doesn't always have the privilege to gaze backwards. In this Week-in-Review, we do just that.
As part of the Ipsos Care-o-Meter, we’ve collected data on how Americans felt about the biggest national news stories this summer. Using that data, we can see how much Americans know and care about the biggest storylines of the day.
Below are five charts on the top news stories of the summer, and whether Americans knew or cared about them.
- What did Americans care about? The two stories that Americans knew and cared most about had to do with this summer’s unprecedented weather. Trump’s indictments also gained a lot of buzz. Culture wars? Not as pressing – Americans didn’t seem to know or care about Kid Rock’s Bud Light controversy.
- The economy reigns supreme. When broken down into categories, Americans cared most about stories that had to do with the economy and the climate. This mirrors the issue landscape, where Americans tend to select the economy as their top concern. Everything revolves around the economy, and this summer was no exception.
- The summer of climate. Out of all the categories, climate was the topic Americans both knew and cared most about. This is unsurprising given that after the record-setting weather this summer, Americans’ concern with the environment surged. As extreme weather becomes more commonplace, will this trend continue? We will see.
- It’s a Barbie world (whether you care or not). What were the most overhyped stories this summer? The Barbie movie was a story Americans couldn’t avoid, even if fewer cared. Similarly, relatively few Americans cared about release of Threads, despite the platform garnering a lot of buzz on its release.
- Underhyped stories. A handful of stories didn’t get much buzz but were topics Americans cared a lot about. These tended to be stories that had major consequences despite the lack of attention, such as chemical weapons decommissioning, economic growth, and guidelines on AI.
The news cycle is complex and unpredictable. Some stories don’t get the attention they deserve, while others stay in the spotlight even if relatively few care.
Even so, looking back at how Americans viewed the news cycle over the past few months tells us what the summer was really about: the economy and the climate.