If there was a theme that defined December 2019 and January 2020 for India's urban centres it was CAA and the various forms of protests around it.
Both English and Hindi language media showed strong engagement with readers and viewers for their stories with NDTV, TOI, Hindu, Aaj Tak and Dainik Jagran all-dominating share of voice on CAA related stories.
To discuss this and other insights on how consumers interact with current affairs and mainstream news organisations and how brands are perceived online Meltwater India will be conducting research for PRmoment India for an exclusive series of reports over the next three months.
In the first of these articles, Meltwater's research shows that 'NDTV 24x7' and 'The Hindu' lead the pack when it comes to readers engaging with stories on CAA and issues related to the topic. Meltwater analysed online sources of engagement with online content put out by leading TV channels and newspapers in India between 15th December 2019 to 31st January 2020.
CAA, NRC, NPR ( protest-related topics) and TV channels
If you look at the share of volume across four mainstream TV channels: Aaj Tak, NDTV 24x7, Republic and CNBC, NDTV is far ahead. NDTV had 306 thousand more mentions than the next highest, Aaj Tak.
NDTV had a total of a whopping 1.1 Million editorial mentions, making traction for its stories on CAA and related protests the highest across 4 mainstream channels:
An analysis of how NDTV performed in comparison with other mainstream TV channels (Aaj Jak, Republic and CNBC), reinforces the finding. Engagement by viewers to stories done by NDTV (on CAA, political protests), rising sharply at the end of December.
Driving this rise in mentions and share of volume were Ravish Kumar's reports on CAA related violence. NDTV Stories on CAA related violence in Meerut and Kanpur were other big movers of conversation.
NDTV's competition map
Meltwater devised a mScore (based on editorial mentions, reach, and tonality) that calculated the overall reach, sentiment and volume of editorial coverage in relation to the conversation generated online for the 4 major TV channels.
This shows that while NDTV led the conversation, Aaj Tak was not far behind and also performed strongly with their stories on the CAA protest.
Stories with the maximum impact
Meltwater also further broke down what stories had the maximum impact. One of Aaj Tak's most impactful stories was actor Anupam Kher's tweet on Sadhguru's video on CAA.
NDTV's most impactful article was on BJP accusing AAP of "sponsoring" Shaheen Bagh protests. The sentiment around this report was negative by viewers engaging with this story online perhaps indicating pre-Delhi election sentiment.
Interestingly, while The Republic covered both sides of the CAA debate, pro CAA stories found good support online, peaking with the story on actress Kankana Ranaut's support for CAA.
Meltwater also assessed the type of emojis being used to engage with protest-related content put out by the top TV channels. While the lead emojis differed, the emojis used were similar for both TV channels. Overall the emoji sentiment was mostly neutral on both channels.
Emojis used in reaction to Aaj Tak stories on CAA, NPR, protest-related content
Emojis used in reaction to NDTV stories on CAA, NPR, protest-related content:
Both English language and Hindi newspapers most engaged with over protest-related content
Readers engaged strongly with both English language and Hindi language dailies on CAA relates stories. This is evident from the competition map (for a share of voice) for top 4 newspapers: Times of India, The Hindu, Dainik Jagran and The Economic Times.
The Hindu led the mScore (based on editorial mentions, reach, and tonality) for stories related to CAA, followed by Times of India and closely followed by Dainik Jagran.
The range of negative emoji reaction for stories in different newspapers was far less than seen for TV channels, perhaps indicating that TV news is more polarising than newspaper content. The emojis for The Hindu ( a south based paper) and Dainik Jagran, The Times of India (north dominating newspaper) are not very different.
Keywords for TOI and ET
Specific keywords showed up when looking at stories from the Times of India and Economic Times. Economic Times readers were more critical than Times of India readers of right-wing protestors.
Dainik Jagran keywords reflected a more nuanced response to CAA related stories as per the leading keywords used to engage with their stories:
For newspapers studies for this report, some of the top hashtags were #citizenshipamendmentact #shaheenbagh #caa and #caaprotest. For the TV channels studies, the top hashtags included #nrc as well as #caa, #shaheenbagh, #uppolice and #banrepublictv