Interest in Oscar trial down - survey

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iol news pic oscar trial day 14 8 INLSA Oscar Pistorius talks to his lawyer Barry Roux before the start of court proceedings of his murder trial. Photo: Chris Collingridge/The Star

Johannesburg - As the Oscar Pistorius's murder trial entered its third week, media coverage and public interaction about the court proceedings had dwindled, a data report revealed on Monday.

According to media monitoring company Data Driven Insight (DDI), President Jacob Zuma and his Nkandla homestead had dominated the headlines in the last 24 hours, ending at 4pm on Monday, with the paralympic athlete's trial taking the third place.

In the first week of the trial, Pistorius's trial dominated 43.12 percent of the media coverage, 35.99 percent in the second week but was down to 20.89 percent in the third week.

Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his law graduate and model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot her dead through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He alleged to have mistaken her for an intruder.

DDI's report stated that witnesses Michelle Burger and Darren Fresco's testimony generated the most conversation online and in the news.

Burger, who was the first witness to testify in the trial, had dominated coverage with 12.95 percent.

She lived in the complex next to Pistorius's and testified about how she was woken up by screams followed by the gunshots coming from Pistorius's home.

Fresco, who was a friend of Pistorius, had taken 10.21 percent coverage of the trial.

He testified about how he had taken the blame for Pistorius after the athlete fired a gun under a table in a packed Melrose Arch restaurant in January last year, grazing the foot of another friend of theirs. Pistorius claimed it was an accident.

Fresco also testified about how Pistorius had fired a gun through an open sunroof of a car as they travelled with Pistorius's ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor. This was shortly after the trio had been stopped by a police officer for speeding. Upon searching the car, the officer reprimanded Pistorius for leaving his loaded gun on the car seat.

While scores of South African media houses have been closely following the trial, DDI claimed that the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Australia were covering the story more than local media.

The data was compiled from 6.2 million social media platforms which included blogs, forums, social networks and commentary.

It also included data from 60 000 global online newspapers, 2000 South African print publications and 66 radio and television stations.


Click here for IOL’s live blog about the Oscar trial.

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