CHARTS: The issues in the federal budget -- as defined by social media

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The big issues for the federal budget to be announced Tuesday next week are education, housing affordability, jobs and debt, according to analysis of social and online media over the last week.

Media monitoring group Meltwater, in a study of 1871 online news articles and 8906 social media mentions between April 27 and May 3, detected negative sentiment on areas where there’s been speculation of funding cuts.

Here are the budget topics being covered by online media:

Education is the big one. There’s been little coverage of negative gearing or the cost of a free-to-air TV licence.

There were also comments from the Australian Olympic Committee, vowing to fight for further funding, amid suspicions of a cut announced at Tuesday’s budget.

Some reports supported an increase in university fees.

Other articles discussed funding of an inland rail project the positive aspects of the concept of good and bad debt.

Here are the budget topics being discussed on social media:

About 40% of social media posts were generated by 18 to year olds 34. Victoria was the most vocal social media state at 35.3% followed by New South Wales 30.9%.

The hashtag #Gonski, about the new school funding deal, included a range of positive and negative comments.

The negative included dissatisfaction with the proposed funding to private and religious schools.

Positives generally looked at the school funding plan on a larger scale, looking at the long-term impact.

Here are the trending hashtags:

Meltwater uses natural language processing to rate words as negative, neutral or positive. Based on which words appear, how often and proximity to one another, the platform automatically generates a sentiment tag.

Issues are tracked using full text from all Australia’s major national, metropolitan and regional publications as well as online news sources. Meltwater also listens to and analyses conversations across social media platforms in Australia, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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