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Print media score over TV in covering farmers' suicides

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 17 (UNI) The print media have scored over television in giving extensive coverage to farmers' suicides last year, says a new survey.

The survey conducted by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) on news coverage of farmers' suicides between January and March 2006 by Delhi-based media found that television blanked out the news.

While agriculture and related news made just about 0.3 per cent of all news content in the electronic media, 'The Hindu', 'The Indian Express' and 'The Hindustan Times' topped news coverage in the print media, says CMS.

Of the six national dalies monitored during February and March 2006, 'The Hindu', 'The Indian Express' and 'The Hindustan Times' gave ''maximum coverage'' to the issue of farmers' suicides, says the survey.

Analysis of their reports on farmers' suicides brings out that while 'The Hindu' presented a national focus of the issue by and large, 'The Indian Express' and 'The Hindustan Times' showed regional focus in their coverage of the issue, it says.

'The Hindu' had the highest number of eight editorials on the issue followed by 'The Indian Express' with six and 'The Hindustan Times' with one.

During the three months monitoring by CMS, 'The Hindu' had 23 news items on farmers' suicides, 'The Indian Express' 22 and 'The Hindustan Times' 12.

'The Indian Express' reported seven farmers' suicides from Vidarbha on March 10 and 5 each on March 19, 23 and 26. However, there was no TV news report on these incidents, says the survey.

Of the six TV channels monitored by CMS, only three - Sahara Samay, NDTV and DD News - presented agriculture news coverage and only one reported the suicides.

UNI FZ KD RN1602

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