Two interesting papers focused on the role of the media. April
Knill and co-authors show that partisanship in television coverage influences corporate decisions. Specifically, Fox News has a clear bias in favour of Republican presidents. Exploiting the fact that the Fox News channel was not available across all of
the US, they show that during George W. Bush’ presidency, firms led by Republican-leaning managers headquartered in regions into which Fox was introduced shift upward their total investment expenditures, R&D expenditures, and leverage, compared
to firms led by Republican-leaning managers headquartered elsewhere. Ruben Durante and co-authors consider media capture by banks. Specifically, considering a sample of top European newspapers and linking them to their creditor banks, they shows that
newspapers’ coverage of bank earnings announcements of their lender banks, relative to other banks, are signiﬁcantly more likely to be the case in case of proﬁts than in case of losses. This pro-lender bias is stronger for newspapers that are highly
leveraged. This bias also carries over to the Eurozone crisis, when newspapers connected to banks more heavily exposed to stressed sovereign bonds are less likely to portrait banks as being responsible for the crisis and to support debt-restructuring measures
detrimental to creditors.