Trayvon Martin Is Country's Top News Story: Pew Study

03/27/2012 04:28 pm ET | Updated May 27, 2012

The controversy around the killing of Trayvon Martin was the public's top story last week, according to the Pew Research Center.

Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer in late February. His death and the controversial police handling of the case took the country by storm last week.

The issue ranked first in the Pew Center's weekly survey of the public's interest in the news, conducted between March 22 and 25. A quarter of Americans said that they followed Martin's story more closely than any other topic in the media. The presidential elections was the top story for 16%, followed by the economy for 15%.

Another portrait emerged when the organization examined interest in Martin's death by race. The case was the top story for 52% of black respondents, compared to 20% of white respondents.

The Pew Research Center found that that no other story came close for blacks, while whites followed the election almost as closely as news about Trayvon Martin. Seventy percent of blacks surveyed also said that they followed news about Martin's shooting "very closely," compared to 30% of whites.

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