Political Connections and Media Slant
Posted: 2 Dec 2019
Date Written: July 1, 2019
We examine the influence of political connections on media slant for a sample of Chinese listed firms. We find that firms with stronger political connections obtain more positive reports from eight major Chinese business newspapers. The association is more pronounced when firms are located in provinces with more government intervention and when the media are state-controlled (compared with market-oriented media). We further examine two explanations for the positive association between political connections and media slant. On the demand side, the firm management channel sees firms using their political connections to manage the relationship with the media for favorable reporting. On the supply side, the media intention channel has media outlets providing favorable reporting to connected firms to enhance their own relationship with the government. We find evidence supporting the firm management channel.
Keywords: Political connections, Favorable media slant, Media management, China
JEL Classification: G30; L82; M41
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