Who are Arvind Kejriwal’s favourite journalists?

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is very active on social media. It is a known fact that the party has indulged in direct confrontation with the centre on multiple occasions including targeted attacks at Prime Minister Modi. I was curious to study this behaviour and answer questions like what proportion of their online campaigns are: targeted towards the centre, to promote a policy, to highlight their achievements etc. This can be done by analysing hashtags, retweets and content of tweets.

But unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t allow you to go past the latest ~3200 tweets. For AAP, all I was able to extract was data for the last month. Not good enough for analysis. So I dropped the idea.

Kejriwal Twitter

Then, just for fun, I extracted tweets of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal – from 4th February 2015 to 11th February 2016. I was curious to know whom does Mr.Kejriwal retweet the most.

This is what I found:

1. There are 32 accounts, tweets from which were retweeted by Mr. Kejriwal more than ten times in the given duration.

2. 12 of those accounts belong to AAP or its officials like Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Jain, Nagendar Sharma and Ashutosh. Here, I have also included the well-known musician and active AAP supporter – Vishal Dadlani.

3. 19 accounts belong to media bodies or journalists. I am calling them Mr. Kejriwal’s favourite journalists. But well, that may not be the best interpretation. However, given the frequency of retweets, we can at least say that their tweets are in inclination with AAP.

a) Janta Ka Reporter (@JantaKaReporter) tops this list. I wasn’t aware of this media body before. It was started in 2015 by senior journalist Rifat Jawaid. According to some online sources, Prerna Prasad – wife of Ankit Lal, head of AAP’s IT Cell – was also a part of the founding team. Given that this body is Kejriwal’s favourite, worth investigating the content of their reporting. When a particular politician is, if I may say, too happy with a media body, it makes me suspicious.

PS: Their Twitter description says – “Media revolution in India has begun”. Rings a bell? (Look at Mr. Kejriwal’s Twitter bio)

b) Next is Ashutosh (@ashu3page) from ANI News, a Delhi-based journalist. (Just to be clear, he is not the journalist-turned-politician Ashutosh, now the spokesperson of the party.) Kejriwal has retweeted him 73 times which is the highest for an individual’s account. Glancing at the content, I found that the retweets are newsy stuff related to AAP – the ones that show the Delhi government in good light. It would be interesting to see if Ashutosh reports the downsides of the government or not.

c) Rupashree Nanda (@rupashreenanda) from CNN-IBN, Vikrant Yadav (@ReporterVikrant) from IBN7, Anurag Dhanda (@anuragdhanda) from Zee News are next in the list. ABP News and ANI News are among the top three media houses.

d) The two well-known women journalists of India – Barkha Dutt (@bdutt) from NDTV and Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) from Times of India – come next. Ms. Barkha’s tweets which Mr. Kejriwal retweeted were about Odd-Even, her interview with Kejriwal, Vyapam Scam and Dadri incident. As for Ms. Sagarika, retweets are mostly her opinions in which she is critical of the Modi government.

e) Official accounts of NDTV and Times Of India referred in point (d) are also part the list. More accounts related to these media houses: Sharad Sharma (NDTV), Poonam Pandey (Navbharat Times) and the TV channel Times Now. (Note that Times of India, Navbharat Times and Times Now are part of India’s largest media conglomerate – The Times Group).

Here is the complete list:

Twitter Handle Number of Retweets Association 
AAPInNews 130 AAP
JantaKaReporter 73 Media Organization
ashu3page 63 Journalist
msisodia 49 AAP
rupashreenanda 46 CNN-IBN Journalist
SatyendarJain 46 AAP
sharmanagendar 36 AAP
abpnewstv 29 Media Organization
ReporterVikrant 28 IBN7 Journalist
anuragdhanda 27 ZeeNews Journalist
ANI_news 26 News
ashutosh83B 26 AAP
VishalDadlani 26 AAP
AashishKhetan 19 AAP
BDUTT 17 NDTV Journalist
sagarikaghose 17 ToI Journalist
AamAadmiParty 14 AAP
arunodayprakash 14 AAP
ndtv 14 Media Organization
pandeypoonamNBT 14 NBT Journalist
im_javedkhan 13 Journalist
ITNlive 13 IndiaTrendingNow – News Analysis
TimesNow 13 Media Organization
DaaruBaazMehta 12 AAP
DrKumarVishwas 12 AAP
sharadsharma1 12 NDTV Journalist
timesofindia 12 Media Organization
KapilMishraAAP 11 AAP
Minister_Edu 11 AAP
raghav_chadha 11 AAP
RashtrapatiBhvn 11 Government
waglenikhil 11 Journalist

Link to full data

If Twitter data of AAP and other political parties, spread over a year at least, is available, that would be something more meaningful to look at. It would also be interesting to study media bias from social network data. Let’s see if there is a way to get hold of it.

If you have some other interpretation of this data, please do share in comments. Cheers!

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