Arvind Kejriwal comes next, and Rahul Gandhi a distant third

Prime time coverage of elections by key television channels in March and April largely focused on Narendra Modi, says an analysis by CMS Media Labs.

The analysis, done by monitoring five TV news channels during the 8-10 slot (prime time) from March 1 to April 30, estimates that 2,575 minutes or 33.21 per cent of the total coverage given to leaders in the five news channels during prime time went to Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

The five news channels monitored were Aaj Tak, ABP News, Zee News, NDTV 24x7 and CNN IBN.

In fact, Modi received nearly 7.5 times more coverage than Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during prime time. In a year when the election campaign of most political parties are focussed more on personalities, Arvind Kejriwal emerged as the second most covered personality by TV channels during prime time, followed by Rahul Gandhi

While Kejriwal got about 10.31 per cent of total coverage given to leaders in these five news channels, Gandhi got only about 4.33 per cent. This was despite the fact that Kejriwal campaigned only in two or three states, while Gandhi campaigned across the country.

The other political personalities that emerged among the list of the top 10 most covered leaders were Priyanka Gandhi, followed by Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Amit Shah, Raj Thackeray and Mamata Banerjee.

Parties, personalities

Even in party-wise coverage, BJP was found to be far ahead of its competitor Congress. Nearly 38 per cent or about 1,507 minutes were spent by these channels on covering BJP, while about 1,101 minutes or 27.75 per cent of television news coverage went to Congress.

The analysis stated that personalities and parties accounted for more than half of the total election coverage. Development and regional issues were found to be at the bottom of the tally of the top ten issues covered.

“The coverage of TV news channels indicates a critical mass of conversation towards Narendra Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The election coverage of leaders hardly reflects the ground realities of the battlefield. The coverage is not reflective of the regional realities. It ignored many States of the country,” CMS Media Labs said in a press note.

(This article was published on May 8, 2014)
XThese are links to The Hindu Business Line suggested by Outbrain, which may or may not be relevant to the other content on this page. You can read Outbrain's privacy and cookie policy here.