Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=947640
 
 

References (64)



 
 

Citations (65)



 


 



What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers


Matthew Gentzkow


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jesse M. Shapiro


University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

November 13, 2006


Abstract:     
We construct a new index of media slant that measures whether a news outlet's language is more similar to a congressional Republican or Democrat. We apply the measure to study the market forces that determine political content in the news. 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 ideal points with firms' actual choices. Our analysis confirms an economically significant demand for news slanted toward one's own political ideology. 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, and we find little evidence that media conglomerates homogenize news to minimize fixed costs in the production of content.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 67

Keywords: bias, text categorization, media conglomerates

JEL Classification: L82, K23, D78

working papers series





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Date posted: November 29, 2006 ; Last revised: April 18, 2014

Suggested Citation

Gentzkow, Matthew and Shapiro, Jesse M., What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers (November 13, 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=947640 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.947640

Contact Information

Matthew Aaron Gentzkow (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Jesse M. Shapiro
University of Chicago ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-2688 (Phone)
773-834-8172 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/~jmshapir/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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