Varun Gandhi, BJP’s new Hindutva posterboy, seems to have emerged as the darling of prime time TV news in the past two weeks with a study claiming that he edged out the Indian Premier League (IPL) in coverage.
Varun managed to get 22.57 hours of prime time coverage in six prominent channels, including state-run Doordarshan, while the IPL got 13.30 hours coverage during March 16 and March 30.
The study was conducted by the Media Lab of New Delhi- based Centre for Media Studies (CMS) which surveyed the coverage in six channels -- DD News, CNN-IBN, NDTV-24X7, Aaj Tak, Zee News and Star News -- between 7 pm and 11 pm.
The BJP leader’s hate speeches against Muslims during election campaign in Pilibhit and the shifting of IPL venue were among the main news events during the past fortnight.
Interestingly, the study claimed that Congress leader Imran Kidwai’s statements on Muslims voting for BJP was under-reported. The issue got a coverage of 12.36 minutes during the fortnight in the channels.
“Zee gave 12.06 minutes to Kidwai’s speech while CNN-IBN gave 30 seconds. The other four channels did not report on the matter,” Prabhakar, head of CMS Media Lab, told PTI.
According to the study, Varun got the maximum coverage in NDTV which gave him 7.17 hours, including 3.18 hours of special programmes followed by CNN-IBN which alloted 4.30 hours for the BJP candidate.
There were a total of 207 news stories on Varun which went to over 11 hours of TV time while the number of special programmes were 36 which ran into 12 hours.
The study said CNN-IBN ran 46 news stories followed by Star News (40), NDTV (37) and Zee News (36).
On the IPL coverage, a total of 193 news stories appeared on TV which ran to 10.50 hours while there were nine special stories running into three hours.