#FeesMustFall takes 'lion's share of media coverage'

2015-10-23 07:09
Wits University was brought a standstill this week after the announcement of an increase in tuition fees for the 2016 study year. Students at the university were protesting against the fee hikes and boycotted classes. Picture: ELIZABETH SEJAKE

Wits University was brought a standstill this week after the announcement of an increase in tuition fees for the 2016 study year. Students at the university were protesting against the fee hikes and boycotted classes. Picture: ELIZABETH SEJAKE

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Johannesburg - #FeesMustFall has dominated media coverage over the past week, according to media monitoring company ROi Africa on Thursday.

"These students have showed us the power of using a hashtag," managing director Tonya Khoury said in a statement.

"We were surprised by the amount of coverage the campaign yielded and, if we go according to the past week, we might just have a media giant on its way. I think a lot of people underestimated the #FeesMustFall campaign and look how it dominated local news."

As of Thursday, it received 40% of news coverage over the past week, at a time whern South Africa faces arch-rivals New Zealand in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup (RWC).

In terms of social media coverage in the past seven days, #FeesMustFall took the lion's share at 59.6%. 

Oscar Pistorius (22.94%), Jason Derulo (0.45%), RWC 2015 (13.47%) and M1 Bridge Collapse (0.04%),were among the remainder of social media coverage in the last week.

Globally, #FeesMustFall was covered strongly by American and Australian media, and to a lesser extent in the United Kingdom and India. 

According to ROi Africa, media coverage of #FeesMustFall was relatively stable between October 16 and October 18, but began to climb to its peak on October 21, when protesters forced their way onto the Parliamentary precinct and several arrests were made.

In terms of the most prominent figures in media coverage of #FeesMustFall, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande was the most dominant figure at 49.84%. 

He was followed by President Jacob Zuma at 24.29%, and Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane on 24.09%.

University of Cape Town Vice-Chancellor Max Price (0.46%) and African National Congress stalwart Frank Chikane (1.32%) also picked up some coverage through their respective sons Kgotsi and Illan being among 29 protesters arrested in Cape Town this week.

Coverage of universities and institutions over the past week saw Wits University and UCT on top, with 30.41% and 21.36% respectively.

This was followed by Parliament (14.68%), Rhodes University (11.06%), Stellenbosch University (9.92%), University of Pretoria (6.15%), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (3.19%), University of the Free State (1.81%), University of Johannesburg (1.54%), and North West University (0.09%).



Read more on:    university fees  |  social media

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