News Tone and the Government in the News: When and Why Do Government Actors Appear in the News?
This chapter focuses on the political tone of news coverage. Three issues are examined. First, we find that news is always more negative than positive from the point of view of the government, although the degree of negativity varies across issues. Second, results show that incumbents appear more often in the news when the tone of the coverage is positive, while opposition presence is linked to a substantially higher share of negative news. Finally, we explore the causal and temporal patterns between variations in news tone and government presence. The findings indicate that increased government presence in the news is a reaction to negative news, but show no signs that the government is able to make subsequent news coverage of an issue more favorable.
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