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Personalization of tech corporations: Examining personalized news and the media reputation of Google, Facebook, and Apple in Swiss news media


Marschlich, Sarah; Eisenegger, Mark (2024). Personalization of tech corporations: Examining personalized news and the media reputation of Google, Facebook, and Apple in Swiss news media. Journalism:1-18.

Abstract

Tech corporations, such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, have increasingly become the focus of public media attention and are subject to public scrutiny due to their prominence and scandals. Often, the news media reports on the corporations’ chief executive officers and founders as representatives of the corporations to make complex company-related information comprehensible and gain more public attention. The personalization trend in the news media has turned some corporate leaders into celebrities and is linked to tech companies’ media reputations, that is, the evaluations of tech companies in the news media. However, research on personalization in corporate news is rare and conflicting, and whether and how personalization is linked to the media reputations of Big Tech corporations is not yet clear. By focusing on different personalization types, this study investigates the relationship between personalization and the evaluation of tech companies in the news. A quantitative content analysis of media articles ( N = 5234) in Swiss news outlets revealed that the news on tech companies is frequently personalized, and personalized news is more negative and more often related to the social aspects of tech corporations than non-personalized news. Our study indicates that personalization is used as a journalistic style in the news about tech corporations but is most common in negative reporting in which the role of tech corporations in society is critically assessed.

Abstract

Tech corporations, such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, have increasingly become the focus of public media attention and are subject to public scrutiny due to their prominence and scandals. Often, the news media reports on the corporations’ chief executive officers and founders as representatives of the corporations to make complex company-related information comprehensible and gain more public attention. The personalization trend in the news media has turned some corporate leaders into celebrities and is linked to tech companies’ media reputations, that is, the evaluations of tech companies in the news media. However, research on personalization in corporate news is rare and conflicting, and whether and how personalization is linked to the media reputations of Big Tech corporations is not yet clear. By focusing on different personalization types, this study investigates the relationship between personalization and the evaluation of tech companies in the news. A quantitative content analysis of media articles ( N = 5234) in Swiss news outlets revealed that the news on tech companies is frequently personalized, and personalized news is more negative and more often related to the social aspects of tech corporations than non-personalized news. Our study indicates that personalization is used as a journalistic style in the news about tech corporations but is most common in negative reporting in which the role of tech corporations in society is critically assessed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Social Sciences & Humanities > Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Personalization, tech corporations, media reputation, chief executive officer communication, news media coverage
Language:English
Date:25 March 2024
Deposited On:06 Jun 2024 15:12
Last Modified:07 Jun 2024 20:00
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1464-8849
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/14648849241243044
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)