Despite some of the hysteria and hype emanating from global coverage of the swine flu outbreak, a Pew Research survey has found that in the US, "the level of coverage was relatively moderate when matched up against the number of confirmed U.S. cases." Comparing the top three newspapers in the US between April 27th and May 10th produced a figure of one swine flu story per 225 cases in the US, less coverage than Canada, Spain, New Zealand, France and China. In Mexico, where the disease originated, there was one story for every 81 cases.
The survey revealed that there was no direct correlation between the number of cases and the extent of coverage - China, for example had very few confirmed cases, but had front page coverage equal to that of the US, which had 2000. It also pointed out that French paper Le Figaro was simultaneously restrained and controversial in its coverage, running just two stories on its front pages, but causing controversy with its description of the disease as 'Mexican flu'.
Source: Editor & Publisher