Economy through a lens : distortions of policy coverage in UK national newspapers

Bowden, James and Kwiatkowski, Andrzej and Rambaccussing, Dooruj (2019) Economy through a lens : distortions of policy coverage in UK national newspapers. Journal of Comparative Economics, 55 (13). pp. 3094-3111. ISSN 0147-5967 (

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This paper shows that communication of economic news varies across newspapers in the United Kingdom. We develop new time series of economic news tonality using a unique dataset of policy influenced articles published in major UK newspapers. We show that the volume and tonality of news respond to current economic conditions. For example, the nature of news changes around events of economic uncertainty such as the global financial crisis and the post-EU referendum periods. We also provide illustrative evidence that communication differs across newspaper formats. Tabloids, as opposed to quality newspapers, tend to express news more negatively, and mostly report policy-related news during periods of economic stress. The integral importance of these results is illustrated by news reaction curves showing a strong positive relationship mostly lasting three months between consumer sentiments and news.