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COVID-19 dominates headlines; Migrant labour crisis most-trending news: Study

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

As a nationwide lockdown continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 has accounted for up to 42.2 per cent of mainstream headlines during this period while a resultant migrant labour crisis has emerged as the most-trending news, a new study showed on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the biggest newsmaker among all Indian political leaders, showed the study that used artificial intelligence to analyse 75,000 headlines across 15 mainstream sources between March 1 and May 10.

Modi is followed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Congress leader P Chidambaram in the top-five newsmakers among national leaders, as per the study done by boutique brand-building firm Dharma Media Consultants, in partnership with technology company PRM Fincon, on how COVID-19 has primarily occupied space.

Among state-level politicians, Jyotiraditya Scindia was most in the news with his shift from Congress to BJP. He was followed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The study found that out of the total 75,000 headlines, 24.5 per cent of headlines were related to COVID-19 pre-lockdown (from March 1), but it rose to 42.2 per cent during the first two phases of the lockdown and then dropped to 32 per cent in the first week of the third phase (till May 10).

The third phase of the lockdown continued for two weeks till May 17 with considerable relaxations as compared to the earlier two phases, while the lockdown has now been extended to the fourth phase till May 31 with further relaxations to help revive economic activities.

Dharma Media Consultants' Founder Shutapa Paul said the study was carried out with an aim to find who and what were the newsmakers before and during lockdown induced by the deadly coronavirus.

PRM Fincon's Co-Founder Rupesh Chaudhuri said, "Our contextual analysis engine, Xlrt, is capable of generating insights that end users can use for informed decision making. Using its AI engine, we were quickly able to identify the entities that were making the headlines across a variety of news sources and news categories."

As per the study, Google, Amazon and Facebook had the most COVID-19 related news among listed and unlisted brands.

Among listed companies, Yes Bank topped the charts, followed by Google, Facebook, Amazon, and HDFC.

For unlisted brands, Jio came on the top due to news of Facebook's investment in the company and was followed by Realme, Flipkart, Zomato and Swiggy.

The celebrity news was topped by deaths of actors Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan, while Kareena Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Anushka Sharma were also in the news.

From the world of sports, postponement of Tokyo Olympics 2020 made the most news, followed by news about Virat Kohli and the IPL.

The migrant labour crisis as a fallout of the COVID-19 crisis was the most-trending news, followed by the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the national capital, WHO's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Wuhan as the epicentre of the deadly virus outbreak, and the Visakhapatnam gas leak incident.

The current affairs headlines were topped by Maharashtra (with the highest reported cases of coronavirus in India), Sensex (which has remained choppy due to the virus outbreak and the lockdown) and Indian Railways.

In the international news segment, US President Donald Trump topped the charts, followed by the United Nations, Wall Street, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 16:16 IST
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