Do Journalists Drive Media Slant?
22 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2023
Date Written: March 8, 2021
I study the scope of a principle-agent problem in the field. I analyze news firms and journalists with possibly misaligned preferences over the partisan slant of content, and find that the firm's ability to exert control is limited. I construct a dataset that links 2,700 journalists to firms, news articles, and Twitter profiles. I measure article slant with a machine learning algorithm I train to identify partisan phrases. Using a movers design, I find firm ideology does not change the slant of a journalist’s writing. In contrast, journalist ideology, estimated using the following decisions of Twitter users, is strongly correlated with article slant.
Keywords: Journalists, News, Media, Slant, Principal-Agent
JEL Classification: D2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation