Influential News: Impact of Print Media Reports on the Fulfillment of Election Promises
journal contributionposted on 07.10.2021, 20:50 by Petia KostadinovaPetia Kostadinova
Building on the mandate theory of democracy and literature on media coverage of elections, this article theorizes why information regarding party promises that is transmitted through the media could affect the former’s fulfillment. Utilizing a unique data set composed of 2,676 promises issued by 14 legislative parties over a 15-year period in post-communist Bulgaria, the study is among the first to longitudinally analyze the role of media in pledge fulfillment, while controlling for institutional and other explanations. The conclusions demonstrate that media reporting of election promises affects the fulfillment of pledges made by coalition parties, when more than one outlet has printed a promise, and under conditions of strong ideological divisions within the cabinet. Furthermore, the impact of media reporting is greater for pledges that do not otherwise have a high likelihood of being fulfilled.