New Delhi: February is the month when the Indian government presents the Union Budget, a statement of accounts for the current year and the next. The government of the day also uses the budget to communicate policy initiatives or announce sops, much like the farm loan waiver that was announced in Budget 2008. The Mint Influencers Index indicates that the budget is the most important economic event in the country in February, for media within the country and that outside.
Expectedly, the newsmaker of the month, in both Indian and global media, was the country’s finance minister P. Chidambaram. Most of the citings related to Chidambaram came on 28 and 29 February, the day before the Budget and the day of the Budget. On the back of these, the minister reclaimed his No. 1 position in terms of citings in Indian media—one that was occupied by Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata in January.
With Budget coverage usually spilling over into the first week of March, it is likely that Chidambaram will register a good showing this month too in the Mint Influencers Index.
However, in terms of overall citings in global media, the entire group of influencers was cited 44% less than it was in January. And while Chidambaram’s gains ensured that the
group was cited marginally more than it was in January in Indian media, most influencers did not fare well during the month. In Indian media, 15 were cited less than they were in
January. The corresponding number for global media was 16.
The index is a monthly, objective measure based on media analysis by Dow Jones Insight, which tracks these leaders, looking at the volume of media citations for each of them as a proxy for their rising or waning influence. The assumption is that visibility and share of voice is good for them and their companies and, in the case of global media, collectively the index is a good surrogate for the growing or waning attention that Indian business and economy generate outside the country.
Graphics by Ahmed Raza Khan/Mint
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For previous indices, go to www.livemint.com/influence.htm