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Brits love the Internet, but does the media hate it?

The Internet is great! That’s according to 98% of UK respondents in a Nominet survey about perceptions of the Internet.

Whether it’s keeping in touch with friends and family, shopping, education or entertainment Brits agree the Internet has improved their lives. But an objective analysis of media coverage using specific keywords reveals that the media projects a negative outlook on the Internet. Is this simply a continuation of the media telling negative or sensational stories just to get attention or does the media actually have something against the Internet?

The red on this graphic (below) from the Nominet report shows the percentage of topics that were negative. The green shows the percentage of coverage that was positive.

media view of internet

Overall the majority of individual publications examined were negative. There were just a few exceptions with a balance of positive articles.

The Financial Times came in at the top with the most positive coverage. The Guardian and Mail Online were the two most negative.

And negative coverage is what most Brits seem to remember as well. Cybercrime and bullying were the two most remembered topics.

But for the most part, the Brits make up their own minds. Fifty-two percent of those responding to the survey didn’t let the media slant affect their opinion of the Internet at all, or how they use it.

So it would seem that the media’s balance of coverage reflects the fact that negative coverage does seem to get more attention, rather than any conspiracy against the Internet or the people who use it. After all, there’s an argument to be made that the media is one group that has benefited tremendously from the Internet.

What do you think? Has the media had any influence on your activities or views of the Internet?

Oliver Burt

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