Electoral cycle bias in the media coverage of corruption news

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Abstract

We investigate the existence of an ‘electoral cycle bias’ in the timing of media coverage of news with high political salience. In particular, we analyze how the electoral cycles at the regional level influence the coverage of news about corruption scandals in the Italian Regional Health Systems by two important national newspapers having opposite ideology, La Repubblica (left-wing oriented) and Il Giornale (right-wing oriented). Our findings show that Il Giornalesignificantly increases the number of articles about corruption scandals involving left-wing politicians since eight weeks before the elections, while it reduces the number of those about episodes of corruption without any political connection. On the contrary, La Repubblica increases the number of articles about episodes involving right-wing politicians only between four to eight weeks before the elections and it decreases those about no political episodes just the week right before them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-157
Number of pages18
JournalJOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION
Volume163
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Corruption scandals
  • Electoral cycle
  • Health system
  • Ideology
  • Italian regions
  • Media bias

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