Table 7-2
Leading nightly news story lines on science and technology, by topic area: 2007 and 2008
(Annual minutes of coverage)
Topic area/leading story line 2007   Topic area/leading story line 2008
Science, space, and technology   Science, space, and technology  
NASA Space Shuttle program 39 Mars astronomy: NASA rovers search for water 19
International space station construction 31 Spy satellite falls out of orbit, shot down 18
NASA astronaut love triangle 21 Mathematics education in schools 11
NASA astronauts suspected of drunken space flights 18 High-technology multitasking is distracting 11
Cellular telephone computer combo invented: iPhone 14 Cellular telephone extras: ringtones, wallpaper 7
Videostreams shared online in viral networks: YouTubea 12 Internet search engine Yahoo! takeover bid 7
Internet used by teens for social networking: Facebook 12 International space station construction 6
High school science fair competitions held for students 10 Physicists build supercollider in Switzerland 5
Mathematics education in schools 8 Inventions and innovations in technology surveyed 5
Inventions and innovations in technology surveyed 7 China censors Internet access and e-mail traffic 5
Biotechnology/basic medical research   Biotechnology/basic medical research  
War on cancer/research efforts 70 War on cancer/research efforts 69
Human embryo stem cell biotechnology research 27 Genetic DNA biotech analysis predicts diseases 29
    Organs may be grown in laboratory for implant 12
    Surgery improved by minimally invasive techniques 11
    Animal cloning in agriculture safety research 6

aRefers to the rise of YouTube as a video file-sharing technology.

NOTES: Data reflect annual minutes of story coverage on these topics by major networks ABC, CBS, and NBC, out of approximately 15,000 total annual minutes on weekday nightly newscasts. Shown are the story lines receiving at least 5 minutes of coverage in 2007 and 2008. Excluded from science, space, and technology are stories on forensic science and media content. Excluded from biotechnology and basic medical research are stories on clinical research and medical technology.

SOURCE: Tyndall Report, special tabulations (January 2009),, accessed 23 September 2009.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2010