Reporting on companies is becoming political

Particularly in the US, classical business news are increasingly out of fashion

In times of economic populism à la Donald Trump and the Brexit, political issues are increasingly on a company’s agenda. While classical corporate news are less and less picked up on in the US, the share of reporting with a political context is growing rapidly.

In the US, the total number of corporate news in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post has halved from some 3,400 reports to some 1,800. The share of corporate news with a political context, however, has risen significantly over the same period, jumping from around 32% in 2006 to about 50% in 2017

In Germany, meanwhile, the total number of corporate news is more stable (some 3,100 reports in 2006 compared to 2,900 reports in 2017), but the share of reporting with a political context also rose significantly, climbing from around 22% in 2006 to some 34% in 2017.

Research design

UNICEPTA has analyzed about 450,000 reports in US and German opinion-leading print media over a period of 12 years. Data collection comprises reports of each year from April through May. The share of political reporting was based on a search string with multiple qualifiers. The analysis included coverage on the US DJIA companies, as well as the DAX30 companies in Germany.


UNICEPTA Medienanalyse GmbH is a leading global provider for smart media intelligence in innovations/digital consulting, media monitoring, media analysis and research/consulting. Around 700 experts continuously structure the news flow – both around the clock and around the world.  UNICEPTA compiles and presents highly relevant information from print and online media, TV, radio and social-media sources. This day-to-day work serves as a platform for the company to provide analysis and research-based advice for issues related to strategic communication.


Wolf-Dieter Rühl
UNICEPTA Medienanalyse GmbH
Head of Research Services
Salierring 47-53
50677 Köln

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email    wolf.ruehl@unicepta.com
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