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Media Competition and News Diets

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  • Charles Angelucci
  • Julia Cagé
  • Michael Sinkinson

Abstract

Technological innovations in content delivery, such as the advent of broadcast television or of the Internet, threaten local newspapers’ ability to bundle their original local content with third-party content such as wire national news. We examine how the entry of television – with its initial focus on national news – affected local newspapers as well as consumer news diets in the United States. We develop a model of local media and show that entry of national television news could reduce the provision of local news. We construct a novel dataset of U.S. newspapers’ economic performance and content choices from 1944 to 1964 and exploit quasi-random variation in the rollout of television to show that this new technology was a negative shock in both the readership and advertising markets for newspapers. Newspapers responded by providing less content, particularly local news. We tie this change towards increasingly nationalized news diets to a decrease in split-ticket voting across Congressional and Presidential elections.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Angelucci & Julia Cagé & Michael Sinkinson, 2020. "Media Competition and News Diets," NBER Working Papers 26782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26782
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    Cited by:

    1. Cagé, Julia, 2020. "Media competition, information provision and political participation: Evidence from French local newspapers and elections, 1944–2014," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 185(C).
    2. Milena Djourelova & Ruben Durante & Gregory J. Martin, 2021. "The Impact of Online Competition on Local Newspapers: Evidence from the Introduction of Craigslist," CESifo Working Paper Series 9090, CESifo.
    3. Julia Cage & Edgard Dewitte, 2021. "It Takes Money to Make MPs: Evidence from 150 Years of British Campaign Spending," Sciences Po publications 2021-08, Sciences Po.
    4. Nicola Mastrorocco & Arianna Ornaghi, 2020. "Who Watches the Watchmen? Local News and Police Behavior in the United States," Trinity Economics Papers tep0720, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2020.
    5. David Flath, 2021. "Japanese newspapers," International Journal of Economic Policy Studies, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 257-299, September.
    6. Sevgi Yuksel, 2022. "Specialized Learning And Political Polarization," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 63(1), pages 457-474, February.
    7. Charles Angelucci & Julia Cage & Romain de Nijs, 2013. "Price Discrimination in a Two-Sided Market: Theory and Evidence from the Newspaper Industry," Working Papers 13-13, NET Institute.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising
    • N72 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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