When Do Media Matter Most? A Study on the Relationship between Negative Economic News and Consumer Confidence across the Twenty-Eight EU States

Jeroen Jonkman*, Mark Boukes, Rens Vliegenthart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study provides a longitudinal, cross-national account of the relationship between negative news coverage and consumer confidence across all twenty-eight European Union (EU) member states for the period 2005–2017. We rely on an extensive data set of international news agency coverage and a range of economic indicators retrieved from Eurostat. Employing fixed-effects pooled time series and multilevel models, we demonstrate that negative news coverage is negatively associated with consumer confidence, generally. Confirming our hypotheses grounded in media system dependency theory, more specifically, this association was stronger for the sociotropic attribute of consumer confidence than its egocentric attribute. Moreover, the association weakened under circumstances where unemployment was rising as well as in those countries that faced the most severe consequences of the financial crisis. Altogether, news coverage matters especially when people are affected less directly by the consequences of economic downturn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-95
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Press/Politics
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • consumer confidence
  • economic perceptions
  • media effects
  • media system dependency theory

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