On day after Atal Bihari Vajpayee's demise, Kerala floods get sparse coverage in several English dailies

With the weathermen predicting another spell of heavy rainfall, at least in two districts of rain-battered Kerala, the situation is expected to get more troublesome for the southern state. Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to arrive in Kerala to take stock of the situation, most English dailies did not give prominent coverage to the floods — which have killed 164 people so far. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's demise dominated headlines in English newspapers on Friday.

Here is how major dailies covered the two major news points of Thursday —

The Times of India

The Times of India gave prominent display to Vajpayee on its front page, and the death of the former prime minister was the only lead story on the home page in the Delhi and Mumbai editions. The Kerala floods found the lead spot in the jacket in the Mumbai and Delhi editions.

Times of India, Delhi

In the Chennai and Ahmedabad editions, Vajpayee's death was the top story which took up half of the front page, whereas the Kerala rains constituted the second most important copy, with a three-column space devoted to it. However, in Bengaluru, there was no mention of Kerala rains on the front page.

Vajpayee was the top story in Kolkata too, whereas, rains were the second most important copy. In the Kochi edition, the floods were featured in 3/4th of the page, whereas Vajpayee was pushed to the anchor spot.

The times of India_Kochi

Hindustan Times

The space allotted for Vajpayee's death and Kerala floods was more or less the same in Hindustan Times as well. The former prime minister's death took the lead spot in the Delhi, Mumbai and Noida editions of the newspaper, whereas the Kerala rains were placed as the lead story in the jacket. The Kerala floods found a place on the front pages of the newspaper's editions in Jaipur, Patna, Pune as well as Ranchi. The space allocation however, varied.

Hinduastan Times_Patna

In the Jaipur edition of the English daily, the Kerala rains were given slightly more prominent display as compared to Delhi, Mumbai and Noida editions. Hindustan Times' Jaipur edition had Vajpayee as lead in half the page, and Kerala rains as second lead (in a three-column space).

Lucknow was the only Hindustan Times edition which didn't mention the Kerala rains anywhere on the front page.


The DNA's Mumbai and Delhi editions featured Vajpayee's death as the lead story on half of the front page, while reports of the flood situation in Kerala were placed in a three-column space above the anchor slot, but without any image. In the Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper, reports on Kerala rains were featured in a four-column space, right above the anchor slot, with an image. The Jaipur edition of DNA too, featured an image, but the space allocation was lesser.

DNA_front page_

The Indian Express

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's death was featured prominently on the front pages in six of the seven editions of the The Indian Express including Mumbai (main), Pune, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata and Lucknow. The newspaper also dedicated eight pages, including a major portion of the the edit page, to the deceased BJP leader. The Kerala floods were not mentioned on the front pages of any of the above-mentioned six editions, and only found half of the anchor space in the Ahmedabad edition of the newspaper.

The Asian Age

The Asian Age allotted the least space to the Kerala floods across editions. While the English daily's London, Kolkata and Delhi editions featured a full-page story on Vajpayee, the Kerala floods were mentioned in a single column space with a tiny image of the flood-affected regions. The Mumbai edition carried just an image of the flood in a single column space.

The New Indian Express

All editions of the The New Indian Express in Tamil Nadu had Vajpayee's death as the lead story, with an article paying tribute to the former prime minister, whereas news of Kerala floods was placed in the anchor slot.

NEw Indian Express_Chennai

The space allocation was more or less the same in The New Indian Express' editions in Telangana, Karnataka, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. While newspapers in Telangana, Odisha and Karnataka featured two copies — an overall report on the Kerala floods and another on the destruction caused on 16 August — in the anchor slot, The New Indian Express' editions in Andhra Pradesh featured EPS rejecting Vijayan's demand to lower the water level in the Mullaperiyar dam as well as an overall copy on the Kerala floods.

In the newspaper's Kerala editions, however, the report on Kerala rains was the lead story of the front page. It covered the entire page excluding the anchor space, which was designated to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In all the Kerala editions (except Kollam), the front page carried a full size image of the flood situation in Kerala, with detailed coverage of the floods.

New Indian Express-Kochi

Deccan Herald

The Karnataka-based English daily gave prominent space to the Kerala floods, with five columns of half of the front page, dedicated to a report on Kerala and three columns for Vajpayee. The space allocation was same across all its editions in the state.

Deccan Herald_Bengaluru

Deccan Chronicle

The Kerala floods coverage varied across editions of the Deccan Chronicle. The rains featured as the top story in Kerala editions of the newspaper, with several stories on the floods, spread across the page. Vajpayee's death was announced in a two-column space in the top half of the page.

Deccan Chronicle_825

While the newspaper's Hyderabad edition featured Vajpayee on the top half of the front page, and an ad on the rest, Kerala rains found no mention. The flood situation in Kerala however, was mentioned in the Karimnagar edition in Telangana and in all editions in Andhra Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu, Vajpayee's death took the lead spot in the front page, and Kerala rains were placed at the anchor slot. The newspaper's Bengaluru edition featured only Vajpayee's death on the front page, and didn't mention the Kerala rains at all.

The Hindu

The Hindu had Vajpayee as the lead story on the front page, but also gave space to the Kerala rains across its editions — the placement, and space varying across editions depending on ads. In its Chennai, Coimbatore, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai editions, Vajpayee's death was reported in a three-column report on the top half of the front page, whereas a report on the Kerala floods was also displayed prominently.

The Hindu Chennai_1

In Bengaluru, the Kerala floods got a good display on the front page, and so did Vajpayee.

In Madurai, three stories related to the Kerala floods found their way to the front page, including how Tamil Nadu is keeping an eye on the 11-affected districts in Kerala. In Thiruvananthapuram, coverage of the floods occupied the top half of the page, while Vajpayee was pushed to the space just above the anchor slot. In Kochi, the rains were featured over four columns whereas Vajpayee's death was featured in three-column space.

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Updated Date: Aug 17, 2018 20:14:48 IST