Americans’ interest in the George Zimmerman murder trial was divided sharply along racial lines, according to a new Pew Study.
Blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to say they tracked news about the Zimmerman trial very closely (56% vs. 20%).
Moreover, fully 67% of blacks say they watched at least some live coverage of the Zimmerman trial, compared with 38% of whites. About one-in-five blacks (21%) say they watched “almost all” of the trial coverage; just 5% of whites reported watching almost all of it.
According to the study, despite cable news network’s near wall-to-wall coverage of the trial, Pew found there was “relatively modest public interest overall” in the case. Interest was mild especially when compared to past stories that had similar racial story lines.
The Zimmerman trial and Trayvon Martin shooting have drawn less interest than some other racially charged incidents in recent years, including the riots that followed the Rodney King verdict in 1992 (70% very closely) and O.J. Simpson’s arrest in 1994 (48%).