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Measuring Explicit Political Positions of Media

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  • Ho, Daniel E.
  • Quinn, Kevin M.

Abstract

We amass a new, large-scale dataset of newspaper editorials that allows us to calculate fine-grained measures of the political positions of newspaper editorial pages. Collecting and classifying over 1500 editorials adopted by 25 major US newspapers on 495 Supreme Court cases from 1994 to 2004, we apply an item response theoretic approach to place newspaper editorial boards on a substantively meaningful — and long validated — scale of political preferences. We validate the measures, show how they can be used to shed light on the permeability of the wall between news and editorial desks, and argue that the general strategy we employ has great potential for more widespread use.

Suggested Citation

  • Ho, Daniel E. & Quinn, Kevin M., 2008. "Measuring Explicit Political Positions of Media," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 353-377, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jlqjps:100.00008048
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00008048
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    Cited by:

    1. Sobbrio, Francesco, 2009. "A Citizens-Editors Model of News Media," MPRA Paper 18213, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. David Strömberg, 2015. "Media and Politics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 173-205, August.
    3. Maria Battaggion & Alessandro Vaglio, 2015. "Watchdogs, Platforms and Audience: An Economic Perspective on Media Markets," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 43(2), pages 209-228, June.
    4. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2011. "The Political Economy of Mass Media," CEPR Discussion Papers 8246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Sobbrio, Francesco, 2014. "Citizen-editors' endogenous information acquisition and news accuracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 43-53.
    6. Francesco Sobbrio, 2012. "A Citizen-Editors Model of News Media," RSCAS Working Papers 2012/61, European University Institute.
    7. Joshua S. Gans & Andrew Leigh, 2012. "How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 88(280), pages 127-147, March.
    8. Francesco Sobbrio, 2014. "The political economy of news media: theory, evidence and open issues," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 13, pages 278-320 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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