By Vicki Needham - 04/12/11 06:29 PM EDT
Lawmakers worked into the early hours of Saturday morning to pass a short-term bill to keep the government running, with a final deal for the last six months of the fiscal year expected to clear Congress by the end of this week.
Congressional leaders made several trips to the White House last week as Democrats and Republicans tried to reach an agreement on spending cuts with late-evening press conferences by the main players, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama.
Budget issues could dominate periodically for the next several weeks as budget talks heat up, especially negotiations over raising the federal debt limit.
The shutdown maneuvering was the top story in four of the five media sectors studied, generating the most response in cable news, accounting for 53 percent of airtime, the analysis showed.
The economy took second as the media focused on a fiscal 2012 budget plan unveiled by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The House is expected to approve the budget plan, which includes major changes to Medicare and Medicaid, this week.
The economy was the top story, at 21 percent, in the newspaper sector.
The third story was the turmoil in the Middle East, dominated by the civil war in Libya, dropping from 38 percent the previous week and hitting the lowest level of Mideast coverage since late January.
A week earlier, those foreign stories accounted for 50 percent of the overall coverage, compared with only 15 percent for the economy and the threat of a shutdown.
The No. 4 subject, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, dropped to 7 percent from 12 percent the previous week.
The fifth-biggest story, at 5 percent, was the news that the U.S. will try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military court at Guantánamo Bay.