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CMS Media Lab Analysis of TV News Coverage of 2014 Lok Sabha Election

This preliminary CMS Media Lab analysis is based on the 15 days coverage from March 1 to 15, 2014 of five prominent television news channels. Channels included in the analysis are : Aaj Tak, ABP News, Zee News, NDTV 24×7 and CNN IBN. Findings are based on the Prime Time coverage (8-10 pm) of these five TV news channels.

 

The analysis is based on the detailed content analysis of election coverage on these TV news channels. Figures are based on the coverage time given to election topics / subjects. The time devoted on parties and leaders are calculated on the basis of subjects / topics of the coverage during discussion and reporting.

 

CMS Media Lab continues to monitor and analyse the coverage of television news channels of 2014 elections. The detailed report of the same will be available in by end of May 2014.

 

Major Hi-lights:

 

  • Arvind Kejariwal got the highest coverage in TV News whereas Narendra Modi got second position.
  • Rahul Gandhi is at third position and as compared to Kejariwal and Modi, received 6 times and 5 times less coverage, respectively.
  • Election coverage on TV News reflects the main fight between BJP and AAP.
  • Party wise and leader wise coverage analysis asserts that the congress is in oblivion.
  • BJP grabbed first position in party wise coverage; it toppled AAP by the margin of 2% in total party coverage.
  • AAP and Congress acquired second and third positions respectively.
  • The Election coverage is personality and party centric on TV news.
  • Hindutva is top issue, after personality in election coverage subjects.
  • Campaign against corruption and vote for development were the issue among the top five issues of election coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Findings on the Television News Coverage of Leaders – Top 10 Leaders 

 

Leader

Time in Minutes

% of Time

Arvind Kejriwal (Aap)

429

28.19

Narendra Modi (BJP)

365

23.98

Rahul Gandhi (Cong)

72

4.76

Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD)

46

3.05

Raj Thakarey (MNS)

33

2.20

Nitish Kumar (JDU)

31

2.01

Mamta Banerjee (TMC)

25

1.67

Mulayam Yadav (SP)

25

1.65

Akhilesh Yadav (SP)

24

1.56

Shazia ilmi (Aap)

18

1.15

Note: Figures are % of total coverage given to leaders in 5 news channels (8-10 pm).

 

The coverage demolished  the popular myth of the 2014 Lok Sabha election – media is  Modi and Modi is media, as Arvind Kejariwal toppled Narendra Modi in TV news coverage by generating 28 % ,while  Modi got around 24%. However, the coverage of Arvind Kejariwal is more negative than Modi.  Surprisingly, Rahul Gandhi, despite being a campaign committee chief of the congress party in this election, got only 4.76% of the coverage given to the political leaders. Kejariwal and Modi got 6 times and 5 times respectively more coverage compared to what Rahul got during this election.

Among the regional leaders only Lalu Yadav got 3 % of the total coverage given to political leaders. Raj Thackery, Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banarjee, Mulyam Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav  acquired the coverage between 2% to 1.5%. These leaders are in the bottom of Top 10 leaders in the election coverage, as more than 50% of air time was grabbed by top the two contenders Arvind Kejariwal and Narendra Modi.

 


Findings on the Television News Coverage of Parties – Top 10 Parties 

 

 Parties

Time in Minutes

% of Time

BJP

369

33.52

AAP

345

31.37

Congress

193

17.51

SP

52

4.72

MNS

26

2.38

Shiv Sena

26

2.34

RJD

14

1.25

TMC

12

1.07

BSP

11

1.00

DMK

10

0.86

Note: Figures are % of total coverage given to parties in 5 news channels (8-10 pm).

 

BJP grabbed the first position in election coverage of TV News by acquiring 33.52 % of total coverage. It received 2% more of the coverage time as compared to AAP.  AAP is at the second position by getting 31.37% of the coverage time.

The Congress party is at the third position by getting 17.51 %.

Among regional parties only Samajwadi Party got approx 5 % of the coverage time. MNS and Shiv Sena got equal coverage by acquiring more than 2% of the coverage time, while rest of the regional parties including RJD, TMC, BSP and DMK received less than 2% of the total coverage time given to parties.

 


Findings on Television News Coverage on Election Issues : Top 10 issues/subjects

 

Issues/Subjects of the Coverage Time In Minutes % of Time
Personality

1521

22.62

Hindutva

1417

21.08

Party

1101

16.37

Development

531

7.89

Corruption

268

3.99

Public Policy

222

3.31

Governance

174

2.59

Opinion Polls/Exit Polls

149

2.22

Political Alliance

139

2.07

Ticket Distribution

128

1.91

 

 

Party and Personality are the major focus of the 2014 election coverage in TV news. Both account for approximately one fourth (39%) of the total election coverage. Interestingly, Hindutva is  one of the top issue in the coverage of TV news; this was  expected after the announcement of Narendra Modi as PM candidate of BJP in 2013 and his possibility of contesting election from Varansai, a mystical place and symbol of Hindutva, created debate around it.  Positioning India as a development deprived nation, vote for change as a main poll plank made it at the fourth position by devoting 7.89 % of the coverage time.

Series of scams of the UPA government, and relentless campaigning against it by opposition parties, prominently by Arvind kejariwal of AAP and Narendra Modi vociferous attack, made it at the fifth position (4%) in terms of the coverage. Public policy and governance acquired sixth and seventh positions by getting 3% and 2.5% of the coverage time respectively. Opinion polls, political alliances and ticket distribution grabbed 8th, 9th and 10th positions respectively.

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