The Economy, the News, and the Public: A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Economic News on Economic Evaluations and Expectations

Alyt Damstra, Mark Boukes
  • Communication Research, March 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0093650217750971

Economic journalism and the effects of economic news

What is it about?

This article studies the tripartite relationship between the economy, economic news, and public economic perceptions. Our analysis is twofold: We investigate the impact of the real economy on economic news in Dutch newspapers (2002-2015, N = 127,120); second, we analyze the impact of economic news on public economic perceptions. Our empirical approach builds on and contributes to the literature by making nuanced distinctions between (a) economic levels and changes (positive/negative), (b) volume and tone of coverage (positive/negative), and, most importantly, (c) people’s retrospective and prospective economic judgments. Our analyses show that the public is presented a version of economic reality that is skewed to the negative, which strongly affects people’s economic expectations but not evaluations. Extending media-dependency theory, these results demonstrate the necessity to both conceptually and empirically distinguish between people’s retrospective and prospective judgments.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0093650217750971

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Mark Boukes and Alyt Damstra