DKK 2.7 million for research into how advertising impacts media content

Professor of management Irene Pollach from Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University has received DKK 2.7 million from the Independent Research Fund Denmark (IRFD). Her research project will examine whether and how news media outlets slant business news in favour of their advertisers.

“Advertising and News Media Bias” – such is the name of the project which Professor Irene Pollach has received DKK 2,654,066 to realise. The funding was provided by the Independent Research Fund Denmark in December 2021 under the IRFD instrument Research Project 1 within the category Social Sciences. In September 2022, a PhD student will be employed in relation to the project and the research will begin. 

The project will examine whether and how news media outlets slant business news in favour of their advertisers.  

"I am very grateful for this grant," says Irene Pollach and adds:  

"It came at a very convenient time, just after my first grant from IRFD. Both of my IRFD grants will be used to investigate the relationship between companies and media, which is a really interesting field of knowledge. However, research in this field requires large amounts of data, which has to be collected manually in order to ensure its quality and combine it with other types of data. Without external funding, it would be almost impossible to study this subject in depth.” 

In the abstract for her project, she writes the following:  

“Newspapers are organised as companies selling news and advertising space. However, the revenue from selling news has declined drastically for years, meaning that news media outlets have become deeply dependent on advertising revenue.  

This dependence has resulted in more power for the companies which can afford to buy advertising space, and the dependence can lead to conflicts of interest when presenting news about these very companies.” 

”The project will show whether newspaper advertisements influence business news. The results will affect trust in established media and the financial role they play in society.” 

Irene Pollach, professor of management at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University.

More about:  Irene Pollach and her research