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A Citizen-Editors Model of News Media

Author

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  • Francesco Sobbrio

Abstract

This paper provides a model of the market for news where profit-maximizing media outlets choose their editors from a population of rational citizens. The analysis identifies a novel mechanism of media bias: the bias in a media outlet's news reports is the result of the slanted endogenous information acquisition strategy of its editor. Accordingly, the results show that citizens find it optimal to acquire information from a media outlet whose editor has similar ideological preferences. At the same time, there is always an upper bound on the possible "extremism" of an editor above which the citizens' demand for news is strictly decreasing. Depending on the distribution of citizens' ideological preferences, a media outlet may choose an ideological editor even in a monopolistic market. Moreover, ideological editors are more likely to be present in the market for news: i) the higher the number of media outlets competing in the market for news; ii) the lower the opportunity cost that citizens have to incur to acquire information.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Sobbrio, 2012. "A Citizen-Editors Model of News Media," RSCAS Working Papers 2012/61, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2012/61
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Petrova, Maria, 2012. "Mass media and special interest groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 17-38.
    2. Blasco, Andrea & Sobbrio, Francesco, 2012. "Competition and commercial media bias," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 434-447.
    3. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2011. "Ideological Segregation Online and Offline," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1799-1839.
    4. Pannicke, Julia, 2015. "Media bias in women's magazines: Do advertisements influence editorial content?," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 99, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    5. Rudiger, Jesper, 2013. "Cross-Checking the Media," MPRA Paper 51786, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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