In the first three months of 2012, the period covered by CARMA International’s latest survey of media reporting of business leaders, global growth remained fragile and worries about the Eurozone economies persisted. Nevertheless, signs of a brightening outlook for the US economy and support for European banks from the European Central Bank lifted stock markets.
Once again, the CARMA survey revealed a shake-up in its most-reported names, with no fewer than 12 names climbing into the top 20 from lower down the listing last quarter. However, the top three names remained the same. Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation could not shake off media attention as the fallout from phone hacking at newspapers within his group continued, culminating in his son James Murdoch’s resigning the chairmanship of News International.
Only 11 per cent of Rupert Murdoch’s reporting was positive, with five per cent negative. By contrast, reporting of Warren Buffett, ranked second, reflected the admiration in which he is held by investors – more than half of his mentions were favourable. The Sage of Omaha tantalised his followers by declaring that he had identified his chosen successor, while declining to put a name to the person. Tim Cook, Steve Job’s successor at Apple, retained third place, with favourable mentions accounting for 60 per cent of his reporting, reflecting continuing confidence in his steady leadership