Being the New York Times: The Political Behaviour of a Newspaper
43 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2004 Last revised: 15 May 2008
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.
Keywords: News, media, information, elections, media bias, New York Times, issue ownership
JEL Classification: D72, D78, L82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation