Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Srinivasan on Whether Journalists Drive Media Slant @TheKarthikS @ChicagoBooth

Karthik Srinivasan, University of Chicago, has published Do Journalists Drive Media Slant? Here is the abstract.

I study the scope of a principle-agent problem in the field. I analyze news firms and journalists with possibly misaligned preferences over the partisan slant of content, and find that the firm's ability to exert control is limited. I construct a dataset that links 2,700 journalists to firms, news articles, and Twitter profiles. I measure article slant with a machine learning algorithm I train to identify partisan phrases. Using a movers design, I find firm ideology does not change the slant of a journalist’s writing. In contrast, journalist ideology, estimated using the following decisions of Twitter users, is strongly correlated with article slant.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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