Washington —the coverage that American news media gave to the chemical disaster in Bhopal, India last month was neither ‘‘very sympathetic’ nor “very hostile,’ a survey of editors and industry executives finds.

The survey was conducted by the Media Institute, a nonprofit foundation supported by foundations, corporations, associations and individuals.

The chemical leak caused the death of more than 2,000 people and injuries to 60,000 others.

Half of all editors responding thought the coverage ‘‘not sensational at all’’” and on average ranked coverage ‘‘slightly sensational,” the Media Institute said. A quarter of industry executives felt coverage “‘very’’ or “‘extremely”’ sensational.

Sixteen editors and 19 industry executives responded to the survey conducted Jan. 716. They gave Union Carbide Corp., owner of the Bhopal plant, high marks for supplying information.

“Editors and executives were virtually alike in their impressions that the overall tone of media coverage toward Union Carbide had been neutral,’’ the institute said.

None perceived coverage as either ‘very sympathetic’ or ‘very hostile’ toward the company, although industry executives were more often likely than editors to regard coverage as ‘slightly hostile.’

Article extracted from this publication >> January 25, 1985