Pistorius trial media circus in numbers

Research numbers clearly show the extent of the media frenzy around the Oscar Pistorius trial.


Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial is bigger than the Fifa World Cup, according to figures by media monitoring group Data Driven Insight (DDI).

“Unbelievably, worldwide the Oscar trial is bigger in media than the Fifa 2014 World Cup,” said DDI’s Tonya Khoury on Tuesday.

DDI said despite restrictions on reporting, media coverage of the paralympian’s trial skyrocketed.

The social media platform Twitter added to the Pistorius news coverage of the trial in the high court in Pretoria, DDI said.

On Monday, judge Thokozile Masipa banned blogging and tweeting of graphic evidence by pathologist Gert Saayman. She reversed this decision on Tuesday morning. DDI said this temporary restriction prompted about 2 500 articles.

In the past 24 hours, news and social media hit over 106 000 unique inserts relating to the Pistorius trial, Khoury said.

Pistorius having retched in court was carried in 2 300 news articles.

“The press in nine days hit the 750 000 mark,” she said.

“In a remarkable media frenzy, DDI has seen the media interest rise from an astonishing 8 800 articles an hour (on day one) to 9 200 in the 3pm hour on Friday. Seems the media [coverage], despite the critics, is on the rise.”

DDI also measured South Africa’s news headlines against the Pistorius trial and found that “nothing can move the media attention [away] from Oscar”.

The data was compiled from 6,2m social media platforms including blogs, forums, social networks and commentary, 60 000 global online newspapers, 2 000 South African print publications, and 66 radio and television stations.  — Sapa

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