Electoral cycle bias in the media coverage of corruption news

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Date: July 2019
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 365 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Media bias; Electoral cycle; Ideology; Corruption scandals; Health system; Italian regions Highlights * We investigate the existence of an 'electoral cycle bias' in media reporting. * We consider the timing of media coverageof news about corruption scandals in Italy. * We analyze how the regional electoral cycles influence coverage of corruption news. * We find evidence of a 'partisan electoral cycle' for different newspapers. 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. Author Affiliation: (a) Bocconi University (DONDENA Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy), Italy (b) Department of Economics and Finance, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy * Corresponding author. Article History: Received 3 September 2018; Revised 3 May 2019; Accepted 5 May 2019 (footnote)[white star] We would like to thank the Editor, Joachim Winter, and two anonymous referees, as well as Marina Di Giacomo, Nerina Dirindin, Maria Petrova, Massimiliano Piacenza, Niklas Potrafke, Paola Profeta, Francesco Sobbrio, Giuseppe Sorrenti and David Stadelmann for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this work. The paper is part of a research project on integrity and legality in the health care sector managed by Coripe Piemonte and financed by the Compagnia di San Paolo. Financial support from the European Research Council under grant number: 694145 (Institutional Family Demography, P.I. Arnstein Aassve) is also gratefully acknowledged (Le Moglie). The usual disclaimers apply. Byline: Marco Le Moglie [marco.lemoglie@unibocconi.it] (a), Gilberto Turati [gilberto.turati@unicatt.it] (*,b)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A587871871