The role of financial journalists in the expectations channel of the monetary transmission mechanism

Author name: 
Reid M
Siklos P
Guetterman T
Plessis SD

Monetary policy relies on managing the inflation expectations of the public in order to influence prices (inflation). Relying on the South African experience we argue that most of the general public are only exposed to the communication of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) via the media. This state of affairs is fairly typical around the globe. We explore the role and biases of the journalists in transmitting the SARB’s communication to the rationally inattentive general public. Our aim is to obtain insights about the factors that influence media articles that deal with monetary policy issues. Using interviews and qualitative content analysis, we explore the extent of the journalists’ knowledge about inflation and monetary policy, their views concerning the credibility of the SARB, the sources of information they use, and the constraints and incentives they face in writing the articles.

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