Ownership Ties, Conflict of Interest, and the Tone of News
This paper investigates the tone newspapers use in reporting information on a company that it is linked with through an ownership tie. Our empirical setting is Italy, a country characterized by dominant national industrial groups’ high ownership of newspapers. Based on a sample of about 123,000 articles, we document that newspapers’ coverage of firms in conflict of interest is greater, with significantly fewer negative and uncertain words. We also document that the slant increases with ownership stakes and decreases with the newspaper's reputation.
European Financial Management
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conflict of interest, media, ownership structure