Friends in Media

62 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2018 Last revised: 21 Jul 2021

See all articles by Guosong Xu

Guosong Xu

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Date Written: July 21, 2021


We test the independence of news content from journalists’ social networks. We find that business news reported by connected journalists—such as those sharing a working relationship or common schooling institutions with the respective company management—are associated with markedly more favorable coverage. Connected articles significantly increase short-term stock returns but also distort longer-term capital allocation, suggesting real effects of journalist connections in the economy. We make causal inferences about the connection effects by exploring exogenous journalist turnovers and an ownership change of the Wall Street Journal.

Keywords: Media Slant, Financial Journalism, Social Connections, Real Effects

JEL Classification: G14, G34, G40

Suggested Citation

Xu, Guosong, Friends in Media (July 21, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Guosong Xu (Contact Author)

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University ( email )


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics