Are watchdogs doing their business? Media coverage of economic news

Antonis Kalogeropoulos, Helle Mølgaard Svensson, Arjen van Dalen, Claes Holger de Vreese, Erik Albæk

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


In the wake of the financial crisis, journalists were criticized for failing in their coverage of the economy: The claim was that they had failed in their duty as watchdogs. The aim of this article is to examine to what extent journalists fulfill their role as watchdogs when covering business news, in light of this criticism. Given the prevalence of the watchdog ideal in journalism and the lessons learned during the financial crisis, we expect journalists to act equally critically toward business and political news. Based on a systematic content analysis of business and political news in the five largest Danish newspapers, we find that politicians and business actors are covered with a similar tone. We conclude that journalists do fulfill their watchdog role when it comes to both business and politics. The differences in coverage and the implications of this adherence to the watchdog ideal are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)993-1009
Publication statusPublished - 1. Nov 2015


  • Business coverage
  • business news
  • content analysis
  • economic news
  • financial crisis
  • watchdog journalism


Dive into the research topics of 'Are watchdogs doing their business? Media coverage of economic news'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this