It is understood that the mass media are a pervasive force in shaping the public's perceptions. This paper incorporates agenda-setting theory to explore whether and to what extent that the mass media can signal business failure. In an analysis of news coverage relating to Chinese underperforming listed firms over the period 2006-2017, it is demonstrated that firms whose stocks are put under "special treatment" status due to consecutive annual losses experience (*ST) greater news volume and lower news sentiment relative to other firms in the quarter in which the "delisting risk warning" announcements are made. Furthermore, *ST firms which are eventually delisted have a greater volume of news than other *ST firms, but we find no evidence that the sentiment of news relates to termination of listing. Our findings offer insights into the informativeness of the mass media and their agenda-setting effects in the business failure context.
- MGMT Operations and Management Science
- MGMT theme Innovation and Digitalisation
- Mass media
- Media exposure
- Business failure
- Sentiment analysis