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How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant

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Author Info

  • Gans, Joshua S.

    ()
    (University of Melbourne)

  • Leigh, Andrew

    ()
    (Australian National University)

Abstract

We employ several different approaches to estimate the political position of Australian media outlets, relative to federal parliamentarians. First, we use parliamentary mentions to code over 100 public intellectuals on a left-right scale. We then estimate slant by using the number of mentions that each public intellectual receives in each media outlet. Second, we have independent raters separately code front-page election stories and headlines. Third, we tabulate the number of electoral endorsements that newspapers give to each side of politics in federal elections. Overall, we find that the Australian media are quite centrist, with very few outlets being statistically distinguishable from the middle of Australian politics. It is possible that this is due to the lack of competition in the Australian media market. To the extent that we can separate content slant from editorial slant, we find some evidence that editors are more partisan than journalists.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6156.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published online in: Economic Record, [Early View]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6156

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Keywords: competition; media bias; media slant; economics of elections;

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  1. Campante, Filipe Robin & Hojman, Daniel Andres, 2010. "Media and Polarization," Scholarly Articles 4454154, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Ruben Durante & Brian Knight, 2009. "Partisan Control, Media Bias, and Viewer Responses: Evidence from Berlusconi's Italy," NBER Working Papers 14762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2005. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," Finance 0501003, EconWPA.
  4. Tim Groseclose & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1191-1237, November.
  5. Larcinese, Valentino & Puglisi, Riccardo & Snyder, James M., 2011. "Partisan bias in economic news: Evidence on the agenda-setting behavior of U.S. newspapers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1178-1189.
  6. Riccardo Puglisi, 2006. "Being The New York Times: Thepolitical Behaviour Of A Newspaper," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 20, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  7. Ho, Daniel E. & Quinn, Kevin M., 2008. "Measuring Explicit Political Positions of Media," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 353-377, December.
  8. Marco GAMBARO & Riccardo PUGLISI, 2009. "What do ads buy? Daily coverage of listed companies on the Italian press," Departmental Working Papers 2009-36, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  9. Alex Millmow, 2005. "Australian economics in the twentieth century," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 1011-1026, November.
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