Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal has secured the highest coverage in TV news during prime time, followed by BJP's Narendra Modi and Congress' Rahul Gandhi in early days of elections, according to a study.
The study, by CMS Media Lab after analysing five top news channels, shows that while Kejriwal has received 429 minutes or 28.19% of the time given during 8-10pm from March 1 to 15, BJP's prime ministerial candidate has secured 356 minutes (23.98%).
The Gandhi family scion has received 72 minutes of coverage (4.76%), followed by RJD's Lalu Prasad Yadav at 46 minutes (3.05 %) and MNS founder Raj Thackeray at 33 minutes (2.20%), the study says about the news coverage of these top leaders.
The channels used for the study were -- Aaj Tak, ABP News, Zee News, NDTV 24X7 and CNN IBN.
"Rahul Gandhi has received six times and five times less coverage as compared to Kejriwal and Modi respectively... The coverage demolished popular myth of 2014 Lok Sabha elections that Modi is media and media is Modi... as Arvind Kejriwal toppled Narendra Modi in news coverage," CMS Media Lab said.
JDU senior leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar secured sixth slot with 2.01% of news coverage, followed by Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at seventh (1.67%) and Samajwadi Party chairperson Mulayam Yadav at eighth rank (1.65%).
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav received 24 minutes of news coverage during the period to secure ninth slot while AAP leader Shazia Ilmi got 18 minutes to clinch the 10th spot, the study says.
In terms of parties, the BJP has emerged as the number one political outfit, beating AAP by a narrow margin. The BJP got 369 minutes of TV news coverage, or more than one-third of the time cornered by the top 10 parties.
Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party stood second with 345 minutes or 31.37% share, followed by Congress at third rank with 193 minutes or 17.51% share.
The SP secured fourth position, MNS fifth, Shiv Sena sixth, RJD seventh, TMC eighth, BSP ninth and DMK the 10th slot. RJD, TMC, BSP and DMK received less than 1.5% of TV news coverage each, the data shows.
In terms of issues/subjects of TV news coverage, 'personality profiles' emerged as the most covered, followed by 'Hindutva', political party, development, corruption, public policy and governance, among others.
"Interestingly, Hindutva is one of the top issues; this was expected after the announcement of Modi as PM candidate," says CMS Media Lab.
CMS Media Lab says it has arrived at the figures based on coverage time given to election topics/subjects.