Anna Hazare’s Fast Hogs Prime Time News: Report

Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption received blanket coverage on the prime time of television news channels, according to a study by CMS Media Lab. To understand the coverage of Anna’s movement on television news channels, CMS Media Lab tracked and analyzed the prime time content (7PM to 11PM) of leading two Hindi (Star News & Aaj Tak) and two English (NDTV24x7 & CNN IBN) news channels from 16th to 28th August 2011.

News channels had a combined coverage of 8047 minutes (91.1%) of prime time news coverage on Anna Hazare’s movement. Hindi news channels devoted 10% more news time to Anna’s movement compared to English news channels. Hindi news channels devoted 97 % of news time whereas English news channels devoted 87% of their prime time news space. During these 13 days, on nine days in the case of Hindi channels and four days in the case of English channels, other news was completely blacked out.

Interestingly, Television news channels covered Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008 with least advertisements. However, in Anna’s movement television news channels not only had a spike in viewership but also a good share of commercial time during prime time. Approximately news channels devoted 27% of their prime time on advertisements.

On four days (24th to 27th) NDTV 24×7 fully filled up their prime time news time with Anna’s movement. CNN IBN also had four days (16th, 24th, 25th, and 27th) of 100% coverage on Anna. Star News and Aaj Tak blacked out all news other than “Anna’s revolution” for nine days. Among news channels Star News devoted 97.8% of its news time followed by Aaj Tak with 94.6%. NDTV 24×7 and CNN IBN devoted 88.7 and 84.5% of news time respectively on Anna’s protest. PR

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