Press continues to ignore Apple and Google, research finds

Updated: Pew study spotlights media obsession with less important companies

An astonishing 73.5 percent of technology stories produced by leading news organizations over the past year inexplicably failed to focus on either Apple or Google, according to a report released today by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

In other words, roughly three of every four topics chosen by so-called professional journalists involved companies less important than Apple, which accounted for 15.1 percent of all tech stories, or Google, which garnered 11.4 percent. For example, 3 percent of the stories examined by Pew were about Microsoft, which, needless to say, does not make the iPhone, or even Android.

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In addition to this widespread media obsession with matters not related to Apple or Google, the Pew research also discovered that the single most-covered, tech-related topic -- the risks associated with texting while driving -- also had nothing to do with either company, at least not directly.

The implications of this media indifference toward Apple and Google were clear in Pew's analysis of the survey results: "The most prevalent underlying message about technology's influence has been upbeat - the notion that technology is making life easier and more productive. Nearly a quarter of all technology stories studied from June 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, conveyed this idea."

That's to say the research detected a direct correlation between the amount of coverage afforded Apple/Google -- nearly a quarter of all stories -- and the public's sense of satisfaction with technology, and, let's not mince words, its general well-being.

So imagine how much easier, more productive and flat-out better life would be if only the press would get its act together and start giving these two companies the level of coverage they deserve.

(Update: It seems as though others are donning their rose-colored glasses and putting a decidedly different spin on this research; examples here, here and here.)

(Update 2: Writer at Wired can't resist the urge to defend himself.)

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