Last year's whirlwind news cycle saw another series of White House exits, a "Blue Wave," hurricanes, SpaceX rocket launches and the rescue of a Thai soccer team trapped in a cave, as seen in a new collaboration by Google Trends and Schema in partnership with Axios.

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Data: Google News Lab; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Between the lines: The news cycles for some of the biggest moments of 2018 only lasted for a median of 7 days — from the very beginning of higher-than-normal interest until the Google searches fizzled out.

  • Looking at the shapes of the news cycles in the chart, it's clear which events managed to keep a consistent level of American attention — such as the migrant caravans, which Trump spent months talking about before the elections.
  • Other news topics like the shooting at the Capital Gazette or Stormy Daniels, for example, saw a fast spike in interest that almost immediately dissipated.
  • Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence tied for the events with the most overall search traffic.
  • The midterm elections, however, had the longest lasting surge in search interest — 43 days.

The local news cycle: Big metro areas drove search traffic for most of the news events.

  • But sports-related news tends to peak around the teams' home cities, according to Google Trends and Schema, and areas most impacted by natural disasters also account for the most search interest in those phenomena.

Go deeper

Media prepares to fact check debates in real time

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

From live blogs to video chyrons and tweets, media companies are introducing new ways to fact check the presidential debates in real time this year.

Between the lines: The debates themselves are likely to leave less room for live fact-checking from moderators than a traditional news interview would.

Life after Roe v. Wade

The future seems clear to both parties: The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in the next few years, either gradually or in one fell swoop, and the abortion wars will move to a state-by-state battle over freedom and restrictions. 

What's new: Two of the leading activists on opposite sides of the abortion debate outlined for “Axios on HBO” the next frontiers in a post-Roe v. Wade world as the balance on the Supreme Court prepares to shift.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Jerome Powell, Trump's re-election MVP

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

President Trump trails Joe Biden in most polls, has generally lower approval ratings and is behind in trust on most issues. Yet polls consistently give him an edge on the economy, which remains a top priority among voters.

Why it matters: If Trump wins re-election, it will largely be because Americans see him as the force rallying a still-strong U.S. economy, a narrative girded by skyrocketing stock prices and consistently climbing U.S. home values — but the man behind booming U.S. asset prices is really Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.