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Being The New York Times: Thepolitical Behaviour Of A Newspaper

  • Riccardo Puglisi

I analyze a dataset of news from the New York Times, from 1946 to 1997. Controllingfor the incumbent President's activity across issues, I find that during the presidentialcampaign the New York Times gives more emphasis to topics that are owned by theDemocratic party (civil rights, health care, labor and social welfare), when the incumbentPresident is a Republican. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the New YorkTimes has a Democratic partisanship, with some "watchdog" aspects, in that -during thepresidential 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 ofwatchdog behaviour, just because during presidential campaigns it gives more morecoverage to the typically Republican issue of Defense when the incumbent President is aDemocrat, and less so when the incumbent is a Republican.

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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series with number 20.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stipep:20
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Baron, David P., 2006. "Persistent media bias," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 1-36, January.
  2. Timothy Besley & Andrea Prat, 2005. "Handcuffs for the Grabbing Hand? Media Capture and Government Accountability," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 07, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234, 08.
  4. Besley, Timothy J. & Burgess, Robin, 2001. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," CEPR Discussion Papers 2721, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jeffrey Milyo & Tim Groseclose, 2005. "A Measure of Media Bias," Working Papers 0501, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 25 Aug 2005.
  7. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, June.
  8. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
  9. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chan, Jimmy & Suen, Wing, 2009. "Media as watchdogs: The role of news media in electoral competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 799-814, October.
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