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Being the New York Times: The Political Behaviour of a Newspaper

Riccardo Puglisi

University of Pavia; University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA)

I analyze a dataset of news from the New York Times, from 1946 to 1997. Controlling for presidential and congressional activity across issues, I find that during the presidential campaign the New York Times gives more emphasis to topics that are owned by the Democratic party (civil rights, health care, labor and social welfare), when the incumbent President is a Republican. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the New York Times has a Democratic partisanship, with some "watchdog" aspects, in that -during the presidential campaign-- it gives more emphasis to issues over which the (Republican) incumbent is weak. In the post-1960 period the Times displays a more symmetric type of watchdog behaviour, since during presidential campaigns it also gives more more coverage to the typically Republican issue of Defense when the incumbent President is a Democrat, and less so when the incumbent is a Republican.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

Keywords: News, media, information, elections, media bias, New York Times, issue ownership

JEL Classification: D72, D78, L82

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Date posted: September 27, 2004 ; Last revised: May 15, 2008

Suggested Citation

Puglisi, Riccardo, Being the New York Times: The Political Behaviour of a Newspaper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=573801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.573801

Contact Information

Riccardo Puglisi (Contact Author)
University of Pavia ( email )
Corso Strada Nuova, 65
27100 Pavia, 27100
University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )
Via P. Amedeo 34
Milano, Mi 20122
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