Social Connections Between Media and Firm Executives and the Properties of Media Reporting
Review of Accounting Studies, Forthcoming
Posted: 22 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 25, 2020
We study how social connections between top executives of media and listed firms affect the properties of media reporting. We find that socially connected media are significantly more likely to cover a firm than their unconnected counterparts. Their reporting is significantly more optimistically toned and contains significantly less information, and both of these effects are significantly mitigated when the firm has better information environment as represented by greater analyst coverage and larger firm size. Additional analyses show that characteristics of the underlying news, firm, or media also affect the effects of social connections on media reporting properties. Collectively, our evidence suggests the impairment of media independence when media and firms have social connections and the importance of alternative information sources in mitigating this effect.
Keywords: Social ties, Media coverage, Media tone, Information
JEL Classification: G14, L82, M41, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation