Econometrica: Jan 2010, Volume 78, Issue 1
What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers
Matthew Gentzkow, Jesse M. ShapiroWe construct a new index of media slant that measures the similarity of a news outlet's language to that of a congressional Republican or Democrat. We estimate a model of newspaper demand that incorporates slant explicitly, estimate the slant that would be chosen if newspapers independently maximized their own profits, and compare these profit‐maximizing points with firms' actual choices. We find that readers have an economically significant preference for like‐minded news. Firms respond strongly to consumer preferences, which account for roughly 20 percent of the variation in measured slant in our sample. By contrast, the identity of a newspaper's owner explains far less of the variation in slant.
Log In To View Full Content