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13 Mar 2014
7:30 am

‘Guilty’ most used in Pistorius discussions – survey

People were likely to use the word 'guilty' more than 'innocent' in reference to the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, according to figures by media monitoring group Data Driven Insight (DDI).

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius studies his notes in the dock during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, Monday, 10 March 2014. Pistorius is on trial for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his suburban Pretoria home on Valentine's Day last year. He says he mistook her for an intruder. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Pool

“The public and media are now likely to use the word ‘guilty’ eight times more than ‘innocent’ in media coverage about the Pistorius case,” said DDI spokeswoman Tonya Khoury on Wednesday.

“We took the measurement of the trial and put ‘guilty’ to measure what kind of feedback it would generate.”

Their guilt monitor saw about 8.43 percent of the world media go with ‘guilty’ while 1.14 percent of all media worldwide went with ‘innocent’.

Social media platform Twitter added to the Pistorius news coverage at the High Court in Pretoria, Khoury said.

Of the two testimonies heard on Wednesday, that of police colonel Johannes Vermeulen and Pistorius’s friend Daren Fresco, Fresco’s testimony accounted for more media activity.

“When you place these two testimonies alongside each other, Fresco’s media activity accounted for almost 80 percent.”

Khoury said the trial had generated more interest from abroad.

“The US, Germany, UK and Australia are covering the story more than South African media,” she said.

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