ICCPL, the leading PR & Communication consultancy firm from India, has launched an in-house developed research team under the name of IBRF; together, they have announced the 1st Media Mapping report for Q1 of FY 21-22. The report will help millions of PR professionals and marketing & communication heads understand media trends. The report’s focus was the shift in news coverage in the post-pandemic times and how it affected the percentage of coverage given to a particular beat.

The health news coverage that was hovering around 10 per cent in the pre-COVID-19 period got the maximum attention. Most media houses dedicated between 23-45 % of the space to the news related to the pandemic.  The report is based on an extensive study of the major English and Hindi-language newspapers.

Maximum coverage to the health reporting was given by Hindustan Times and Hindustan (45%) followed by Amar Ujala (42%). The Times of India, The Hindu, and The Indian Express gave 40 % space to COVID-19 related news during Q1 21-22.

After COVID-19, Business Standard and Economic Times gave 23% and 30% space to the news related to Economy and Public Affairs. Other mainlines newspapers balanced the news from other segments during this time. Farmers’ protest that gained maximum traction before the pandemic hit the world was relegated to news space between 4% and 7%. The Hindustan Times gave maximum space to the farmers’ protest at 7%, followed by The Indian Express and Hindustan giving 6% of the news space to the protest, which is ongoing against three farm acts that the Parliament passed in September 2020.

The Education sector was the next talk of the town as parents and students panicked at how things will move. The news related to the education sector managed to get space between 10% and 15 %. The Times of India dedicated 15% of the space to education, followed by The Indian Express (13%) and The Hindu (12%).

The second-largest contributor to India’s GDP, the real estate sector, got only between 5% and 8% of the total space in the newspapers. Eight per cent of the news covered by The Hindu and The Indian Express were related to the real estate sector, followed by 6% space in The Times of India. The Hindustan Times, Hindustan, and Amar Ujala gave 5% space to the sector.

“It is the first report of its kind where we have tried to gauge the impact of the pandemic on the media houses not from the financial aspect but the reporting aspect. The pandemic saw many newsmen succumbing to the deadly virus, which they contacted while ensuring that people should get an uninterrupted supply of information,” says Kartik, the research head for IBRF Global – International Brand & Research Forum.