The Demographics of Malayalam Television Debates Viewership

Television is an indispensable media during election run-up. Television news performs different roles during elections. They hold a mirror to the past events and also present the current and future scenario of events. This research paper assesses the viewership of debate topics, prime-time news, and debate shows telecast by various news channels in Malayalam with the differences in demographic backgrounds of electorates. The data was collected through a survey conducted during the 2011 Kerala Assembly polls campaign period adopting the Before-and-after design. Having analysed the viewership of various news and debate shows among electorates, the paper identified that nine topics had high viewership among male, upper-aged, post-graduates and the unemployed. These demographic groups of viewers are found to evince high interest in matters of election than others.

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