The geography of innovation and technology news – An empirical study of the German news media

Sentiments of innovation news

A new study with Burcu Ozgun has been published in Technological Forecasting & Social Change. Using a novel database covering daily news from more than 250 newspapers in Germany, we show that news readers in German regions are exposed to systematically different news on innovation and new technologies! Newspapers circulating in urban areas feature more news on innovation and new technologies than those in rural areas. There also exists an East-West divide: Innovation news appear more frequently in newspapers circulating in East Germany. We also find a negative relationship between sentiments of innovation news and the unemployment rate in newspapers’ circulation areas: In regions with high unemployment, newspapers focus more on potential negative sides of new technologies and less on the positive ones. The work provides empirical evidence that the characteristics of regional news markets and existing attitudes of news consumers shape what is covered by the media and in which tone.