Meet the Press: Survey Evidence on Financial Journalists As Information Intermediaries
59 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 6, 2018
Financial journalists play an important role as information intermediaries in capital markets. We survey 462 financial journalists and conduct 18 follow-up interviews to provide new insights into the inputs, incentives, and beliefs that shape their reporting. Our findings can be summarized in three important themes. First, financial journalists have stronger incentives to produce original information and analysis than to disseminate information already in the public domain, and they rely heavily on private communication with company management for information. Second, sell-side analysts play an important role in informing financial journalists, many of whom lack financial sophistication. Third, the incentives for sensationalism in the business press assumed in prior research are dominated by incentives for accurate, timely, in-depth, and informative reporting, while the quid pro quo incentives assumed in prior literature (e.g., putting a positive spin on company news to maintain access to inside sources) are substantial. We examine a wide range of other topics relevant to the literature on the business press, and our results provide multiple avenues for future research in this area.
Keywords: business press, financial journalists, media, information intermediaries, social media, financial analysts
JEL Classification: M40, M41, M49, G10, G14, G20, G29, L82
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