Is There Within-outlet Demand for Media Slant? Evidence from US Presidential Campaign News

45 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017 Last revised: 3 Jul 2019

See all articles by Marcel Garz

Marcel Garz

Hamburg Media School

Gaurav Sood

Independent

Daniel F. Stone

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics

Justin Wallace

University of Washington, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Students

Date Written: July 1, 2019

Abstract

Variation in political slant across media outlets, and demand for such slant, has been studied extensively. We conduct a novel within-outlet (and within-topic) analysis of the demand for "congenially" slanted news. We study so-called horse race news from six major online outlets for the 2012 and 2016 US presidential campaigns. We find very limited evidence of higher demand for more congenial stories, and somewhat stronger evidence of higher demand for more uncongenial stories. However, we also find that, as expected, news is slanted congenially across outlets, counter-acting (and perhaps causing) any within-outlet preference for uncongenial slant. We discuss how our results are consistent with the three major mechanisms driving demand for slant studied in the theoretical literature, and enhance understanding of when each mechanism is more likely to come into play.

Keywords: Media Bias, Media Slant, Horse Race News, Presidential Debate News, Confirmation Bias, Cognitive Dissonance, Polarization

JEL Classification: D72, D83

Suggested Citation

Garz, Marcel and Sood, Gaurav and Stone, Daniel F. and Wallace, Justin, Is There Within-outlet Demand for Media Slant? Evidence from US Presidential Campaign News (July 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3009791 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3009791

Marcel Garz

Hamburg Media School ( email )

Hamburg Media School
Finkenau 35
Hamburg, Hamburg 22081
Germany

Gaurav Sood

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Daniel F. Stone (Contact Author)

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics ( email )

Brunswick, ME 04011
United States
6463387833 (Phone)

Justin Wallace

University of Washington, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Box 353330
Seattle, WA 98195-3330
United States

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