Apple is the most-covered tech company in the media, reports a new study from the Pew Research Center, beating out Google, Twitter, Facebook and Microsoft.
Apple is the most written-about company when it comes to media coverage,
according to a new study from the Pew
Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Some 15.1 percent of the technology stories posted between June 2009 and
June 2010 focused on Apple, versus 11.4 percent for Google, 7.1 percent for
Twitter, 4.8 percent for Facebook and 3.0 percent for Microsoft. Other
technology-industry stalwarts, including Yahoo and Amazon.com, received less
than 1 percent of total coverage. RIM received 0.09 percent, placing it on the
same level as AT&T and Comcast.
Apple stories also tended to be positive. "The media's take on Apple
from June 2009 to June 2010 would make Steve Jobs proud," Pew's
report reads. "More than 40 percent of the stories about Apple
suggested that its products are innovative and superior in quality." By
contrast, around 20 percent of Google's coverage slanted its products as "innovative
and superior," and 25 percent "emphasized Google's help in navigating
the Web by making content more searchable and easier to find."
Some 19 percent of the stories about Google focused on whether the
search-engine giant held too much power and personal information. "Google
was largely off the hook in the media's eyes, however, when it came to
accusations that the company steals others' content, including the news media's,"
the report suggests. "This theme emerged in just 2 percent of the stories."
Overall, the study found tech's biggest story was compulsive texting while
driving-roughly one in 10 stories-followed by the launch of Apple
iPhones with 6.4 percent of total coverage. Various Apple topics combined for
14 percent of the media's total technology coverage. The Apple iPad accounted
for 4.6 percent of those stories; Apple CEO
Steve Jobs, 1.6 percent; and the Apple App Store, with 1.4 percent.
The duality between technology-as-potential-danger-such as texting while
driving-and technology-as-savior-or at least something that makes life a little
bit simpler-seemed to dominate the media's overall focus throughout the year.
"The most prevalent underlying message about technology's influence has
been upbeat-the notion that technology is making life easier and more
productive," reads the report's overview. "But that was closely
followed by the sense that with that convenience comes risk-to our privacy and
particularly to our children-which made up nearly two-in-ten stories."
The study drew its conclusions based on 437 technology stories that appeared
in 52 different news outlets, including the front pages of 11 newspapers, 12
Websites, 10 radio programs and six television channels-three cable and three
All of which leads to the inevitable question: Do stories about Apple's
media coverage count as stories about Apple?
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.