Lots of Negativity Towards News Corp and Rupert Murdoch

By Sheldon Levine - Thursday, July 21st, 2011 at 10:50 am  

Whether you love or hate Rupert Murdoch, you just can’t avoid hearing about him these days. With a recent scandal around Murdoch’s news divisions he has been one of the most talked about people in media over the past few weeks. First, some of the reporters on his staff were found to be hacking into the phones of 9/11 victims and British troops. Then advertisers started to pull out of Murdoch’s News of the World publication, forcing him to shut the tabloid down earlier this month. Murdoch was then urged to pull out a bid to buy a controlling share of BSkyB, a satellite broadcaster. Now he is currently answering questions from British parliament about the illigal activities and people all around the world are talking about it since Murdoch’s company, News Corp, has a presence in many countries around the globe.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I took a look at what the world was saying about Murdoch through social media channels. A look at mentions for just his name since the beginning of July shows 67,875 blog posts, 127,342 online news articles, 57,000 forum posts and 864,114 tweets about Murdoch.

This may not seem like a large amount for a man that owns a giant media conglomerate, but when I trended out mentions of his name over the last six months I found that his name was mentioned, but nearly not at the volume level it is this month.

Murdoch’s company News Corp has many holdings around the world, so it’s not surprising to see that people around the globe are talking about him. What is interesting though is that a majority of social media coverage is coming from the United States even though most of the trouble is being brought down on him in the UK. The US is contributing 38.3% of conversation about Murdoch while the UK only accounts for 17.3%.

It’s no surprise either that the media giant’s popularity is not too positive these days. When I pulled up a sentiment analysis around Murdoch I found that 41% of what was being said about in social media is negative.

Next I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of affect this is having on not just Rupert Murdoch the man, but his company News Corp. Since the begging of July I found 33,353 blog posts, 78,086 online news articles and 162,685 tweets mentioning News Corp.

Just like it’s owner, News Corp is not exactly being talked about in a positive light either. A look at sentiment around the News Corp brand actually shows that half of everything that is being said about the company is negative.

In order to see what all this negative talk was I pulled up a buzzgraph that shows us the words most connected to our search terms across all social channels. A quick look at the buzzgraph “Murdoch’s” name right in the center with strong connections to words that help tell the story like “scandal,” “hack” and “BSkyB”. Interestingly enough though, most of the words in our buzzgraph seem to tell the story of what’s going on and there doesn’t appear to be any personal thought words. This is interesting to note because it means that just the words that are reporting on what’s happening are contributing to the 50% negative sentiment and not as much people’s opinions as I’ve found in other stories I’ve looked at in the past.

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