Sentiment analysis of Imran Khan’s interview in TIME Magazine


By Khalid Khattak

Social media, particularly Twitter, is abuzz with news of former Prime Minister Imran Khan being featured on the cover of Time Magazine. While many of his supporters and members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party are expressing their praise for Khan’s “achievement”, others are strongly reacting to what they see as a blind celebration, as they believe that Khan’s lovers are overlooking the damaging content of the interview and blindly praising Imran Khan without actually reading it.

Although social media platforms have provided space for people to express their opinions for and against former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent feature on the cover of Time Magazine, noted anchorperson Shahzeb Khanzada also discussed it in his program and in a tweet wrote: “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is sharing the cover story of Time Magazine featuring Imran Khan. But, upon reading the story, it is revealed that Imran Khan’s support for the Taliban, controversial remarks about women, and criticism of the government’s economic performance are severely criticized. He has been held responsible for exacerbating the ongoing economic crisis.”

Data Stories conducted a sentiment analysis specifically on the text of the exclusive interview that was published by Time Magazine.

While this may disappoint some, based on the sentiment scores that Data Stories got after performing sentiment analysis using NRC lexicon in #rstats, it appears the interview has a mostly positive tone but there are some negative aspects and elements that evoke fear or anxiety.

Data Stories requested #ChatGPT to provide an interpretation of the sentiment scores, which are as follows:

The above chart indicates that the interview has a higher positive sentiment score of 167, suggesting an overall positive tone. However, there is also a negative sentiment score of 153, indicating that there are some negative aspects to the interview. Additionally, the fear score of 148 is quite high, implying that some elements of the interview may evoke fear or anxiety. On the other hand, the trust score of 164 is relatively high, indicating that the audience perceives the interviewee as trustworthy. While the interview contains elements of anger, anticipation, disgust, joy, sadness, and surprise, the scores for these emotions are relatively lower compared to the other emotions, indicating that these emotions are present but not as prominent.

While referring to Imran Khan’s allegations in the recent past that he was unfairly toppled by a U.S.-sponsored conspiracy (These allegations were denied by The State Department) one Twitter user while sharing Time Magazine’s cover image wrote: “The CIA stages a coup in Pakistan but the (international version of) Time magazine has a positive cover story about Imran Khan! This is the sophisticated propaganda that confuses the people around the world. The illusion of free press and neutrality.”

Below is a word cloud made in #rstats by Data Stories showing the most frequent words used in Imran Khan’s Time Magazine interview. Some words like Imran Khan, Pakistan and others have been removed otherwise these would have emerged as bigger words on the word cloud because of their usage frequency.