A study commissioned by BBC World and conducted by PQR and IMRB International, has classified Indian news viewers into six broad categories. & #BANNER1 & # These are astute, self acclaimed intellectual, evolved, generalist, minimalists and detached. There is also a small population of Indians who get their news only from newspapers.
According to the survey, the minimalists, with a low interest in news, form 32 per cent of news viewers. They are most likely to be in the age group of 15-24 years and motivated by money and power. The detached, another segment with low interest in news, form 10 per cent of the Indian news viewers. This segment of news viewers are defined by low self-awareness and are most likely to be in the age group of 25-44 years. Both minimalists and detached watch news simply to appear informed. In terms of role models, minimalists revere those who have earned money in a very short time; the detached do not have role models. News viewers in these two categories skim headlines or read special interest publications and watch television more than they read. Their favourite news channel is most likely to be Aaj Tak.
The other segment among Indian news viewers are the evolved viewers who comprise 19 per cent of the total news viewer population. This segment includes older women in the 45-plus age group. They consider themselves practical, and believe in Gandhian virtues. They are thinkers and their role models are people like Dr Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekanada and Shabana Azmi. As consumers of news, this segment is mature, it values well balanced and credible news, and looks forward to information that improves society. Such viewers sift through multiple sources of news to reach a self-evaluated view.
The segment of generalists comprises news viewers who are hard working and their role models are also hard workers. As consumers of news, they are indiscriminate. The believe in the width of information, rather than its depth. That is why they are likely to just catch the headlines and not bother about the whole story. This segment of viewers watch a lot of television and tend to surf a lot. They also watch music and general entertainment channels. They make up 11 per cent of the total news viewers in India.
Self-acclaimed intellectuals make up 16 per cent of news viewers. They have a high sense of self-worth and a preference for news that they can use to create an impact in a conversation. They have a superiority complex and like to be different. Their role models are image-led, larger than life figures. As consumers of news, they prefer sensational news. They have multiple sources of information but have strong preferences. They have a wide range of interests and generally watch television alone at night. This segment of news viewers are outspoken, supercilious, vociferous and they like to show off. Self-acclaimed intellectuals take more than two holidays in a year.
The other segment comprises astute news viewers ? individuals who are go-getters and achievers. Their role models are also real-life achievers. They place great importance in the relevance of news and hence are selective about their source of news. This segment contribute to 11 per cent of the total news viewers. They are most likely to watch both international and domestic news channels. They have multiple sources of news which also includes the Internet. They read socio-political, economic and business magazines. Although they like sports and English movie channels, the bulk of their time is spent watching news. This segment of news viewers is heavily skewed towards males. As much as 70 per cent of astutes are males.
The study also revealed the news consumption patterns of the different segments of Indian news viewers during the recent US elections. The evolved Indian news viewers had a high and involved interest in the US elections and they are most likely to have had an opinion on the right and wrong candidates. On the other hand, the astute new viewers were more interested in the impact of the election results rather than the election process. For the self-acclaimed intellectual, the US elections would have been a hot social topic and perhaps a great conversation starter.
The generalists, the minimalists and the detached would have had low interest in this development. While a generalist's involvement would have been limited only to being updated by skimming through headlines, a minimalist would have shown interest only to demonstrate he/she knew what was happening.
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