Man-made and natural disasters dominated the list of the public’s top news stories in 2007. Nearly half of Americans (45%) tracked news about the shootings of 33 students at Virginia Tech University very closely, while nearly as many paid very close attention to reports on the Minneapolis bridge collapse and the California wildfires. As was the case in 2006, however, the rising price of gasoline attracted the largest audience of any news story. In May, 52% of Americans said they tracked rising prices at the pump very closely.
Iraq continued to be a major story of interest but fell from 40 percent last January to 28 percent this month. The presidential campaign did not crack the top ten.