Economy

Politics, finance takes up more news space: Study

Aditi Nigam New Delhi | Updated on April 02, 2011


Politics and financial news is good business. So, no matter how hard the policymakers harp on ‘inclusive growth', it seems to be cutting little ice with when it comes to coverage in newspapers across the country's four regions.

According to findings by media watchdog site the hoot.org, which surveyed the regional and English language newspapers across five States in the North, South, East and West, including two in Delhi, politics ruled the roost by grabbing 15.7 per cent news space. Economy and business followed (except in English language newspapers where it was vice-versa) at 13.6 per cent. The third highest was crime and violence at 8.7 per cent.

Take a look. A survey of 10 newspapers over a period of two months (mid-September to mid-November 2010) shows that only 3.1 per cent of news had a rural focus, where over 70 per cent of population lives and works. In comparison, urban or city-oriented news grabbed 30.4 per cent of news space.

What's more. Agriculture, the sector that provides maximum employment in the country, accounted for only 0.9 per cent of the news. The other key social sectors fared no better — education made for 4 per cent of the news, health 2.9 per cent, and children and gender 0.6 per cent each. Sports coverage and editorial pages were not included in the survey.

The growing interest of readers in financial matters is evident by the fact that it accounts for a substantial chunk of the news generated in regional papers. Here's a break-up. Thirty six per cent of all financial news related to the private sector, 15.3 per cent to the stock market, 10.8 per cent to the pubic sector, 8 per cent to banking, and 7.6 per cent to employment and labour.

However, the survey admitted that some of the findings were skewed by the dominant news of the period under study. Despite that, national news took 27.8 per cent of space, news originating at the State level stood at 22.3 per cent, and local or city news 25.2 per cent.

Published on April 02, 2011

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