Government advertising and media coverage of corruption scandals

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We construct measures of the extent to which the four main newspapers in Argentina report government corruption on their front page during the period 1998-2007 and correlate them with government advertising. The correlation is negative. The size is considerable—a one standard deviation increase in monthly government advertising is associated with a reduction in the coverage of the government’s corruption scandals of 0.23 of a front page per month, or 18 percent of a standard deviation in coverage. The results are robust to the inclusion of newspaper, month, newspaper Χ president and individual-corruption scandal fixed effects, as well as newspaper Χ president specific time trends. (JEL D72, K42, L82, M37, O17)

Di Tella, R., & Franceschelli, I. (2009). Government advertising and media coverage of corruption scandals (No. w15402). National Bureau of Economic Research.

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