Local Journalism under Private Equity Ownership

63 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021 Last revised: 4 Feb 2022

See all articles by Michael Ewens

Michael Ewens

Columbia Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Arpit Gupta

NYU Stern School of Business

Sabrina T Howell

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2022

Abstract

Local daily newspapers historically played an important role in U.S. democracy by providing citizens with information about local policy issues. In recent decades, local newspapers have struggled to compete with new online platforms. In the first study of private equity (PE) in a struggling industry, we find nuanced effects. PE leads to higher digital circulation and lower chances of newspaper exit. However, the composition of news shifts away from local governance, the number of reporters and editors falls, and participation in local elections declines. The results have implications for knowledge about local policy issues and highlight trade-offs surrounding media ownership.

Keywords: Private equity, newspapers, media, local journalism, civic engagement

JEL Classification: G23, G32, H42, L82

Suggested Citation

Ewens, Michael and Gupta, Arpit and Howell, Sabrina T, Local Journalism under Private Equity Ownership (February 1, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3939405 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3939405

Michael Ewens

Columbia Business School ( email )

665 W. 130th Street
732 Kravis Hall
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://michaelewens.com

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Arpit Gupta

NYU Stern School of Business ( email )

Suite 9-160
New York, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://arpitgupta.info

Sabrina T Howell (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States
212-998-0913 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sabrina-howell.com

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
332
Abstract Views
1,059
rank
125,432
PlumX Metrics