As if more proof was needed, research by Pew’s Excellence in Journalism Center shows that Apple has not only captivated fans worldwide, but also gets a dominant chunk of tech news coverage. Archrival Microsoft is at the bottom of the heap, according to the Pew’s rankings, with five times less coverage in the U.S. media.
Researchers looked at 437 stories by 52 U.S. media outlets from June 2009 to June 2010 and found that 15.1 percent of tech stories were about Apple, compared to 11.4 percent about Google, and a mere 3 percent about Microsoft. Even social network Twitter and Facebook did better, with 7.2 percent and 4.8 percent of coverage, according to Pew’s figures.
iPhone 4 Grabs Headlines
Unsuprisingly, the most talked-about gadget in the period surveyed was Apple’s iPhone 4, with 6.4 percent of the coverage, followed by the iPad, with 4.6 percent. Figures would have probably been even higher if the research period extended to July as well, when the iPhone Antennagate went into full swing.
“Microsoft has, at least for now, fallen off the mainstream media’s radar,” says the report. Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system garnered 0.5 percent of techology news coverage. Overall, the Redmond company has half the coverage of Facebook, a third of Google’s, and 20 percent that of Apple. Another notable company with abysmal coverage is BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion, which dominates the smartphone market but got only 0.09 percent of coverage.
Mainly Good News to do Steve Jobs Proud
Pew’s report says that mainstream media outlets carried positive reports on Apple’s products: that’s more than 40 percent of the stories on the company. Also, Apple fans (boys and girls) have made the headlines, mentioned in 27 percent of the stories researched.
Flaws with the iPhone 4 didn’t make too many headlines, Pew’s research says, with only 17 percent suggesting products are overhyped, and 7 percent portraying Apple as too controlling with its products.
Small Market Share, a Lot of Hype
Apple’s software powers only a tiny chunk of computers worldwide, where Microsoft dominates. And it’s not like Microsoft employs fewer public relations people than Apple. So how come the disproportionate media coverage between the two companies?
Apparently, it’s Apple’s “very public way of releasing products,” Amy S. Mitchell, the deputy director of the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism told The New York Times. As for consumers of news, there seems to be a “chicken or the egg” dilemma. Do we read Apple news articles just because there are so many of them, or do publishers put out plenty of Apple news to keep our appetites satisfied?