Johannesburg - Paralympian Oscar Pistorius' murder trial and a missing Malaysian flight shared the media spotlight over the past 24 hours, figures from media monitoring group DDI revealed on Tuesday.

“The two stories are neck-and-neck on worldwide news sites,” Data Driven Insight (DDI) said.

The Pistorius trial Ä prominent in focus since it began on March 3 Äclaimed 50.94 percent of media space.

The Malaysian airplane had 49.06 percent.

The star athlete has been charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and contravening the Firearms Control Act.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

On Monday, authorities in Malaysia announced that the missing Boeing 777 flight had gone down in the sea with no survivors.

The survey showed that the Pistorius trial generated the most press on the first day, followed by March 10, the date the graphic pictures of Steenkamp were presented by Prof. Gert Saayman.

“The third highest media yielding day was yesterday 1/8Tuesday 3/8 largely due to the messages being read out from cellphone conversations on WhatsApp,” the survey indicates.

The survey found that countries such as the United States, Germany, the UK, and Australia covered the Pistorius trial more than South African media.

The data was compiled from 6.2 million social media platforms including blogs, forums, social networks and commentary, 60 000 global online newspapers, 2000 South African print publications, and 66 radio and television stations.

Sapa