Understanding media bias

The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business brings business leaders and academics to converse on its sometimes podcast, Chicago GSB podcast series ( iTunes). Some months will have many postings and some months not at all.

The most recent podcast (May 11) features Jesse Shapiro, assistant professor of economics speaking, about his research into media bias. He comes up with a number of interesting conclusions, including:

  1. Media outlets tailor their news to match the ideological preferences of their listeners/readers, rather than the preferences of their owners.
  2. You can get a pretty good idea of the ideology of a news outlet by analyzing its language. For example, liberal newspapers, in discussing Bush administration Social Security proposals used the description “private Social Security accounts” while conservative newspapers like to refer to “personal Social Security accounts.”
  3. The “Fox news effect” is real. That is, when Fox news enters a media market, Republican candidates gain about .5% in their electoral tally.
This entry was posted in Economics, Idea of the week, Lectures. Bookmark the permalink.

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