Journal of Financial Markets, Vol. 41, pp. 57-76, 2018

Journalist Disagreement

By quantifying the tone of firm-specific articles in leading national newspapers between 1989 and 2010, we propose a bottom-up measure of aggregate journalist disagreement. In line with theoretical considerations, our novel high-frequency proxy for differences of opinion negatively forecasts the market return, in particular during recessions. Moreover, it has predictive power for the cross-section of stock returns. Collectively, our insights support asset pricing theories incorporating belief dispersion and highlight the role of the media in this context.