Survey reveals TV as primary source of news in Gujarat

Television has emerged as a primary source for news and current affairs and a new survey undertaken by the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies (CMS) indicates that TV is now relied on to by two-thirds of people for the latest news, both in urban and rural areas.

As a single source, more people rely on All India Radio for news than on any single newspaper. However, together newspapers, local and statewide, are relied on by 18 per cent of respondents as against 12 per cent in the case of AIR, the survey indicates.

Also, two-thirds of those in Gujarat who watched news on TV channels since the Godhra carnage earlier this year, think that TV coverage is "full and objective." According to the survey, one-fourth of people in Gujarat depended on local Doordarshan news for information, while one-fifth tuned into Aaj Tak and one-sixth depended on Zee News. 

The survey was undertaken by the CMS in the last week of May 2002 in Gujarat. 1,950 adults, equally divided between rural and urban, spread across 12 districts of Gujarat were interviewed. The CMS researchers' agenda: to find out the source of information for people in the context of the Gujarat riots. CMS director P N Vasanti says the Gujarat riots mark a new beginning of a new chapter in the changing character of Indian news media. The survey also indicates that even in rural Gujarat, nearly 28 per cent of people depended on DD for news against 16 per cent who depended on Aaj Tak and 14 per cent relied on Zee News. 

While all listeners think radio gave full and objective coverage of the Gujarat riots, according to the survey, nearly one-sixth of viewers of TV do not feel that channels gave "full and objective" coverage of riots. 

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