Our graphic, below, reveals how negative feelings about class sizes increased after the budget, but disappeared with the Govt backdown.
The graph shows the sentiments expressed online (web / social media).
Some interesting observations:
- Negative comment did not become significant until three days after the Budget announcement.
- Negative comment did not decline with the Government’s announcement it would “cap” teacher losses.
- Negative comment was at its peak in the 24 hours before the final ‘backdown’ announcement
- The announcement virtually stopped all negative sentiment, although media coverage (comprising most of the neutral line) continued.
- It can take a few days for interest groups and the public to comprehend, connect, and campaign against policy changes
- Media coverage plays roles as spark, torch and follower of public opinion
- Backdowns shut down expression of negative sentiment
- The number of mentions includes only 10% of Twitter traffic, to make manual assessment manageable.
- Online media coverage of the issue is coded as “neutral”, although opinion columns expressing views are coded according to sentiment expressed about class sizes (only).