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The Press as a Watchdog for Accounting Fraud




This paper investigates the press's role as a monitor or "watchdog" for accounting fraud. I find that the press fulfills this role by rebroadcasting information from other information intermediaries (analysts, auditors, and lawsuits) and by undertaking original investigation and analysis. Articles based on original analysis provide new information to the markets while those that rebroadcast allegations from other intermediaries do not. Consistent with a dual role for the press, I find that business-oriented press is more likely to undertake original analysis while nonbusiness periodicals focus primarily on rebroadcasting. I also investigate the determinates of press coverage, finding systematic biases in the types of firms and frauds for which articles are published. In general, the press covers firms and frauds that will be of interest to a broad set of readers and situations that are lower cost to identify and investigate. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory S. Miller, 2006. "The Press as a Watchdog for Accounting Fraud," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(5), pages 1001-1033, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:44:y:2006:i:5:p:1001-1033

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