Meet the Press: Survey Evidence on Financial Journalists as Information Intermediaries
66 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2018 Last revised: 9 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 2019
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 four themes. First, financial journalists rely heavily on private communication with company management when developing articles, but they often face backlash from management in response to unfavorable articles. Second, sell-side analysts are an important source of information for financial journalists, and journalists value experienced analysts over prominent or award-winning analysts. Third, journalists believe monitoring companies to hold them accountable is one of financial journalism’s most important objectives, and they believe negative articles are more impactful than other articles they write. Fourth, financial journalists have strong incentives to develop high-quality articles that contain exclusive content; nevertheless, they have a taste for controversial topics. 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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