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The Production of Information in an Online World: Is Copy Right?

Author

Listed:
  • Julia Cage

    (Département d'économie)

  • Nicolas Hervé

    (Institut national de l'audiovisuel)

  • Marie-Luce Viaud

    (Institut national de l'audiovisuel)

Abstract

This paper documents the extent of copying and estimates the returns to originality in online news production. We build a unique dataset combining all the online content produced by the universe of news media (newspaper, television, radio, pure online media, and a news agency) in France during the year 2013 with new micro audience data. We develop a topic detection algorithm that identifies each news event, trace the timeline of each story and study news propagation. We show that one quarter of the news stories are reproduced online in less than 4 minutes. High reactivity comes with verbatim copying. We find that only 32.6% of the online content is original. The negative impact of copying on newsgathering incentives might however be counterbalanced by reputation effects. By using media-level daily audience and article-level Facebook shares, we show that original content represents 57.8% of online news consumption. Reputation mechanisms actually appear to solve about 40% of the copyright violation problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Cage & Nicolas Hervé & Marie-Luce Viaud, 2017. "The Production of Information in an Online World: Is Copy Right?," Sciences Po publications DP12066, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/38tbdqmgvf8f9amamb132hea9b
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Angelucci & Julia Cage & Michael Sinkinson, 2020. "Media Competition and News Diets," Sciences Po publications 2020-03, Sciences Po.
    2. 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).
    3. de Cornière, Alexandre & Sarvary, Miklos, 2020. "Social Media and News: Content Bundling and news Quality," TSE Working Papers 20-1152, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Inés Moreno de Barreda & Gilat Levy & Ronny Razin, 2017. "Persuasion with Correlation Neglect: Media Power via Correlation of News Content," Economics Series Working Papers 836, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Julia Cagé & Nicolas Hervé & Marie-Luce Viaud, 2020. "The Production of Information in an Online World," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(5), pages 2126-2164.
    6. Ruyun (Ivy) Feng & Michael D. Kimbrough & Sijing Wei, 2022. "The role of information transparency in the product market: an examination of the sustainability of profitability differences," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 668-705, June.
    7. Charles Angelucci & Julia Cagé, 2019. "Newspapers in Times of Low Advertising Revenues," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 319-364, August.
    8. Kennedy, Patrick & Prat, Andrea, 2017. "Where Do People Get Their News?," CEPR Discussion Papers 12426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Milena Djourelova, 2020. "Media persuasion through slanted language: Evidence from the coverage of immigration," Economics Working Papers 1720, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    10. Charles Angelucci & Julia Cage, 2019. "Newspapers in Times of Low Advertising Revenues," SciencePo Working papers hal-03391880, HAL.
    11. Julia Cage, 2019. "Media competition, information provision and political participation:Evidence from French local newspapers and elections, 1944–2014," SciencePo Working papers hal-03567022, HAL.
    12. Kim, Min & Stice, Derrald & Stice, Han & White, Roger M., 2021. "Stop the presses! Or wait, we might need them: Firm responses to local newspaper closures and layoffs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    13. Barbara Biasi & Petra Moser, 2018. "Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program," Working Papers 18-06, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    14. Jörg Claussen & Christian Peukert & Ananya Sen, 2019. "The Editor vs. the Algorithm: Returns to Data and Externalities in Online News," CESifo Working Paper Series 8012, CESifo.
    15. Biasi, Barbara & Moser, Petra, 2018. "Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program," CEPR Discussion Papers 12651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Copyright; Facebook; Information spreading; Internet; Investigative journalism; Reputation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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