We’ve touched on how Apple has shaped a master/servant relationship with the media.
More than a master of storytelling, Steve Jobs carefully controlled “supply” to ensure media “demand” was always there.
This communications foundation has served Apple well over years.
Which brings me to the question posed in the headline:
Does the potential wrath of Apple influence how the media treats Apple?
Let’s rewind the tape to last week’s iPad 3 announcement.
To get a sense of the raw coverage on the iPad 3 announcement, I plugged “Apple” and “iPad 3” into the Google News engine for March 7 and 8. (Note: This does pull up some pre-launch stories on March 7, but still gets us horseshoe close.)
As you can see below, the search produced 28,900 hits.
Not a shocker that every publication in the free world wrote about the new iPad.
Given the hoopla around the working conditions at Foxconn, which manufactures many of the Apple products, I figured a sizable percent of the stories would include this data point. With this in mind, I plugged “Apple” and “iPad 3” and “Foxconn” into the Google News engine for the same timeframe.
Only 205 hits came up.
While math isn’t my strong suit – don’t ask about my SAT score – by the best of my calculation a mere 0.7% of the stories mentioned Foxconn.
Naturally, the gadget publications are going to focus on the hardware, but I expected newspapers and business publications to give at least a cursory glance to Foxconn.
Not the case.
Even The New York Times, whose investigative pieces last month triggered the renewed scrutiny, steered clear of the topic.
I recognize this back-of-the-envelope exercise hardly constitute rigorous research.
Still, it does cause one to wonder.