Trump's Twitter account was the top tech story in the UK in 2017

What did journalists write about in the UK in 2017? Trump's Twitter account was the top tech story, and GDPR the top business story, according to media monitoring company Signal Media.

Trump's Twitter page

Trump's Twitter account was a leading source of stories....

Donald Trump's Twitter account was the top technology story in the UK-based media during 2017, behind Brexit (economics) and the general election (politics), according to media monitoring company Signal Media. Perhaps surprisingly, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was the top business story.

Twitter-based Trump stories bar chart

Trump's Twitter was a story throughout the year

Image: Signal Media

The ranking is based on coverage, and a glance at the monthly totals shows how these stories did so well.

Many major stories are driven by events and have massive peaks, such as coverage of the Westminster Bridge terror attack and the Grenfell Tower fire. Trump's use of Twitter, by contrast, may have peaked in January, but thousands of tweets kept it alive throughout the year.

Trump's Twitter was the top tech story with 124,000 stories, led by 7,370 stories in the Daily Mail, and nothing else came close. Signal Media ranked Apple second (15,300 stories), followed by WannaCry ransomware attacks (9,400), diversity in the tech sector (7,600) and the BA IT failure that grounded flights (7,200).

GDPR coverage monthly bar chart

GDPR coverage grew as the deadline grew closer

Image: Signal Media

GDPR coverage started from a low base in January but built up over the year, peaking in November. This EU regulation becomes enforceable on 25 May 2018, so it is becoming increasingly urgent for companies to act, if they have not already done so.

Being fined £20 million or up to 4 percent of their annual global turnover is a powerful motivator.

GDPR was the top business topic with 18,600 stories, followed by the Paradise Papers (8,200) and the collapse of Monarch Airlines (7,700). As Signal Media points out, the Monarch story involved "the largest repatriation of Brits outside of wartime".

In other areas, "43,800 stories were written about ITV's Love Island, and 28,000 about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, while 25,900 were devoted to the Harvey Weinstein allegations," says Signal Media.

The report, That Was The News 2017, is available online.

Signal Media collated content published or transmitted between 1 January and 13 December 2017 by UK print, online, broadcast and blog media sources. It counted syndicated content (where the same article appeared in more than one publication), online and print versions of the same article, and later editions of the same article.