Janina Barth, Andrea H. Schneider-Braunberger
March 11, 2021
It appears to be almost self-evident that most people look towards past experiences for guidance during times of crisis. We would like to consider the empirical evidence for this assumption by analysing the public discourse regarding the reactions to crises, which includes general reporting, statements from politicians or discussions in the media. The outbreak of the Corona pandemic in Germany, starting in March 2020, opens the possibility to collect several preliminary findings by analysing relevant press coverage in the newspapers. Articles from different sections of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.) and from the Handelsblatt were evaluated. As our main interest focuses on economic historical (not e. g. medical historical) research questions, we chose the F.A.Z. First, because its business reporting is important within the German newspaper environment in general. Second, because its reporting on the Corona pandemic was award-winning. Additionally, we focused on the Handelsblatt because the newspaper provides press coverage explicitly on financial, business, and political issues – all subjects directly affected by the Corona crisis. The analysis concluded that there was a rise in articles with historical references in general while the number of articles linked to businesses did not increase at the same time which can be linked to the absence of expert business history opinions on offer.