Einfluss von Werbekunden auf redaktionelle Inhalte. Quasi-experimentelle Modellierung und empirische Erhebung

Steffen Kolb, Jens Woelke


Empirical evidence about influences of advertisers on journalism or - to be more precise - on the editorial content of mass media is rare and sometimes contradictory. This might be due to the difficulties empirical researchers are faced with when doing such analyses : Ethically questionable or even criminal processes within the working of journalists can hardly be assessed applying the usual social science methods and designs such as observations, surveys, or experiments. This paper tries to close this research gap by content analyzing one case systematically: The media coverage of the Swiss bank UBS during the first three months of the economic and financial crisis in 2008 is studied in two giveaway dailies which are depending entirely on advertising revenues, one having advertising revenues from UBS and the other having no financial relationship to this bank. The financially more independent newspaper covers the UBS significantly more and more critical.


Advertising; free daily newspapers; journalism ethics; editorial independence

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896