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Buying Power report: Blacks spend as economy grows
New 16th edition shows $507 bil in spending



The finding comes from the 16th annual edition of "The Buying Power of Black America" report. In 2009, black households spent an estimated $507 billion in 27 product and services categories. ...

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Trayvon Martin top news story among Americans above election, economy

(April 6, 2012) The growing controversy over the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida was the publicís top story in March, though African Americans express far greater interest in news about the killing than do whites.

Overall, a quarter of Americans (25%) say they followed news about the African American teenager killed by a community watch volunteer more closely than any other story. Smaller percentages say they followed news about the presidential elections (16%) or the economy (15%) most closely, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted March 22-25, 2012, among 1,003 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

African Americans are more than twice as likely as whites to say that this was their top story (52% vs. 20%). For African Americans, no other story comes close. Whites followed election news about as closely as Martinís death; 19% say this was their top story.

Looking at a separate measure, 35% of the public says they followed news about the shooting and the still-unfolding controversy very closely. Seven-in-ten blacks say this (70%), compared with 30% of whites.

Though the shooting occurred on Feb. 26, the controversy developed into a major national story amid debates about racial attitudes and crime, the thoroughness of the police investigation and a Florida law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force under certain circumstances. News about the incident and its aftermath topped coverage as well, accounting for 19% of the newshole, according to a separate analysis by the Pew Research Centerís Project for Excellence in Journalism. News about the presidential campaign accounted for 17% of coverage.

The gap between black and white attentiveness to news about the Trayvon Martin story follows a pattern seen in other stories involving questions about race and the law dating back more than 20 years. In March 1991, for example, 66% of African Americans said they very closely followed news about the videotaped beating of Rodney King, captured by Los Angeles police after a car chase. About four-in-ten whites (43%) said they followed this news very closely.

In the current survey, women say they followed news about the Florida killing and the subsequent controversy more closely than men. Four-in-ten women (40%) say they followed developments in the case very closely, compared with 29% of men. About three-in-ten women (31%) say this was the news they followed most closely; 19% of men say this.

Democrats also tracked news about the case more closely than Republicans or independents. Half of Democrats (50%) say they followed this story very closely, compared with 31% of Republicans and 26% of independents. Nearly four-in-ten Democrats (38%) say this was their top story of the week, compared with 15% of Republicans and 21% of independents. The 2012 campaign was the top story for Republicans (27% most closely).

The pattern among partisans largely holds when looking exclusively at whites. Fully 45% of white Democrats say they followed developments in the Martin shooting very closely, compared with 32% of white Republicans and 21% of white independents.



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