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Does the 4th estate deliver? Towards a more direct measure of political media bias

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  • Dewenter, Ralf
  • Dulleck, Uwe
  • Thomas, Tobias

Abstract

This contribution introduces a new direct measure of political media bias by analyzing articles and newscasts with respect to the tonality on political parties and politicians. On this basis we develop an index sorting the media in the political left to right spectrum. We apply the index to opinion-leading media in Germany, analysing 7,203,351 reports on political parties and politicians in 35 media outlets from 1988 to 2012. With this approach, in contrast to other indexes, we are able to achieve a more direct and reliable measure of media bias. In addition, we apply the index to study whether the media fulfil their role as the fourth estate, i.e. provide another level of control for government, or whether there is evidence of government capture.

Suggested Citation

  • Dewenter, Ralf & Dulleck, Uwe & Thomas, Tobias, 2016. "Does the 4th estate deliver? Towards a more direct measure of political media bias," DICE Discussion Papers 235, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:235
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:82-91 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Beckmann, Klaus B., 2017. "Bounded rationality in differential games," Working Paper 178/2017, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.
    3. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    4. Garz, Marcel & Sörensen, Jil, 2017. "Politicians under investigation: The news Media's effect on the likelihood of resignation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 82-91.
    5. Bantle, Melissa & Muijs, Matthias, 2018. "A new price test in geographic market definition – an application to german retail gasoline market," Working Paper 180/2018, Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    media bias; governmental capture; index;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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