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The Effects of Media Slant on Firm Behavior

54 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2017 Last revised: 21 Aug 2017

Vishal P. Baloria

Boston College

Jonas Heese

Harvard Business School

Date Written: August 17, 2017

Abstract

The media can impose reputational costs on firms because of its important role as an information intermediary and its ability to negatively slant coverage. We exploit a quasi-natural experiment that holds constant the information event across firms, but varies the availability of a major news outlet in local markets. We find that firms subject to the threat of slanted coverage suppress the release of negative information before the event and release it subsequently. Our results are consistent with theory on the active role firms can play in managing their reputational capital through anticipatory actions to avoid negative media coverage.

Keywords: Media Slant, Reputational Capital, Strategic Corporate Decisions

JEL Classification: D72, G30, G34

Suggested Citation

Baloria, Vishal P. and Heese, Jonas, The Effects of Media Slant on Firm Behavior (August 17, 2017). Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming; Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper No. 18-015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3021229

Vishal Baloria

Boston College ( email )

140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Jonas Heese (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan Hall 397
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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