From propaganda to alarm: International economic news about controlled and free press countries

Elad Segev


International news both reflects and affects economic changes. Yet, the impact of press freedom on this relationship was not systematically studied. The present paper analyzed the trends of country mentions in international economic news and their corresponding GDP trends over a period of six years. Findings identified the different functions of economic news. Controlled press countries were mentioned more frequently in economic news around the world about one month before an increase and after a decrease in their GDP. This time lag reflected the use of economic news as a mean of propaganda to promote the country and strengthen its economy. Free press countries, on the other hand, were mentioned more frequently in economic news a few months before a decrease and after an increase in their GDP. In this case, economic news primarily functioned as a warning system for economic deviance.


Economic news; GDP; Cross-lagged correlation; Controlled and free press countries; Cross-national comparative analysis


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Copyright (c) 2016 Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research and Università della Svizzera italiana. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896