Meet the Press: Survey Evidence on Financial Journalists as Information Intermediaries
Posted: 18 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 2021
We survey 462 financial journalists and conduct 18 interviews to obtain insights on the inputs to their reporting, the incentives they face, and the factors that influence their coverage decisions. We report many findings relevant to the accounting literature and identify multiple avenues for future research. For example, financial journalists say the likelihood they write about a specific company or CEO increases when the company is controversial or the CEO has a colorful personality, suggesting journalists gravitate toward provocative topics. We also find that financial journalists routinely use company-issued disclosures and private phone calls with company management when developing articles, and that they believe they are evaluated primarily on the accuracy, timeliness, and depth of their articles. Journalists also believe monitoring companies to hold them accountable is one of financial journalism’s most important objectives, but they often face negative consequences for writing articles that portray companies in an unfavorable light.
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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