Media Coverage of the Economy and Aggregate Economic Evaluations: Uncovering Evidence of Indirect Media Effects Academic Article uri icon


  • In the following analysis, we investigate two important questions: (1) how closely does media coverage of the economy reflect real changes in eco nomic conditions? and (2) to what extent does economic coverage of the economy exert an independent effect on economic evaluations? We then use this information to explore Republican claims that media coverage of the economy hurt the Bush reelection campaign. Consistent with previous research, we find that, overall, the media tend to follow negative economic conditions more closely than positive economic conditions. In addition, news coverage appears to be strongly related to aggregate public evaluations of the economy, even after controlling for real economic conditions. Final ly, we also find that news coverage of the economy was significantly differ ent during 1982, 1991, and 1992 than during other years under study. During these years, coverage of the economy was more negative than would have been expected on the basis of economic conditions alone. The implications of these findings, particularly with respect to Republican claims of media bias, are explored. © 1995, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Goidel, R. K., & Langley, R. E.

citation count

  • 83

publication date

  • June 1995