Table 7-4
Leading nightly news story lines on science and technology, by topic area: 2009 and 2010
(Annual minutes of coverage)
Topic area/leading story line 2009   Topic area/leading story line 2010
Science, space, and technology   Science, space, and technology  
NASA Hubble Space Telescope repairs 40 Internet used for social networking: Facebook 34
Moon astronomy: NASA searches for evidence of water 20 Computer flatscreen table technology: iPad 20
NASA anniversary of Apollo manned moon missions 19 Cellular telephone/computer combination: iPhone 18
NASA Space Shuttle program 17 NASA manned space flights to be discontinued 18
Computer networks targeted by coordinated hackers 15 UFO speculation fascinates skywatchers 13
Internet used for social networking: Facebook 12 Internet classified ads posted online: Craigslist 11
Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs returns to work 12 High-technology multitasking is distracting 9
Internet online commerce volume increases 12 Office copier machines have hard drive memories 9
NASA plans renewed manned missions to moon 11 Videostreams shared online in viral networks: YouTube 8
Videostreams shared online in viral networks: YouTube 6 China censors Internet access, e-mail traffic 8
Biotechnology/basic medical research   Biotechnology/basic medical research  
War on cancer/research efforts 37 War on cancer/research efforts 48
Human embryo stem cell biotechnology research 23 Human embryo stem cell biotechnology research 14
    Genetic DNA biotech analysis predicts disease 11
    Salmon genetically modified to accelerate growth 7
    Spinal cord injuries and paralysis research 5

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 2009 and 2010. Excluded from science, space, and technology are stories on forensic science and media content. Excluded from biotechnology/basic medical research are stories on clinical research and medical technology.

SOURCE: Tyndall Report, special tabulations (2 March 2011),, accessed 3 February 2011.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012