MeMo:KI – Media analysis

Analysis of media coverage on the topic of artificial intelligence
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Whether in an educational context, in the world of work or in the automotive industry, AI is placed in different contexts in the media. The media discourse on AI plays an important role in shaping public opinion and will and can shape individual attitudes as well as positions toward the technology.

Which topics were particularly present in media coverage of artificial intelligence?

Every month since 2021, our project has analyzed the articles published on the topic of AI in the 34 widest-reach German online and print media. With the analyses, we investigate which topics (focal points) dominate media coverage. In recent years, we have been able to show that the thematic focus in media coverage has been primarily on the economic sphere and, in particular, on economic efficiency gains through AI. Reports on the opportunities of the technology predominate, while risks are mentioned less.

What exactly was going on? Here you can find examples from the top topics:

Was war genau los? Hier finden Sie Beispiele aus den Top-Themen:

How was media coverage undershadowed?
On the methodology of the media content analysis

The basis of the content analysis is the publications of the media listed above in each month. For the analysis, all articles are selected that list the terms “AI” or “artificial intelligence” in the title, subheading or first paragraph (the so-called “lead”). How many articles meet this criterion is published each month. The arrow indicates whether more or fewer articles have been published on AI than in the previous month.

The coding team then examines the articles based on title and lead and assigns exactly one topic category per article. With the help of these classifying categories, we can make visible which topics dominate the coverage each month, or which topics occur less. The collected articles are also scientifically evaluated using further automated and manual analysis procedures, and the data collected about them is processed in specialist publications.

Which print and online media were studied?

As part of the research project, the 34 print and online news media in Germany with the largest market shares were examined in terms of content analysis. These include regional and national news media as well as trade and online media.

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Which categories were the articles assigned to?

At this point you can have a look at the exact categories we have defined for the coding of the top topics. Various examples can clarify the assignment of the articles to the categories.


Why is the study of media coverage important?

Together with findings from the survey studies, indications of blind spots for science and technology journalism can be identified. Journalists can critically reflect on their work and come across topics that are systematically less covered in the media. The data are also relevant for the effectiveness of strategic communication by civil society and scientific institutions: They can become the basis for achieving balanced(r) coverage and for ensuring that AI design that is oriented toward the common good is discussed to a similar extent as, for example, topics that come from the business sector.

The Team

Research partnership

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Sponsored by

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