Independence and Quality of Mass Media in the Internet Age (MIRAGE) (2017)

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This project obtained funding from LIEPP through the 2017 call for proposals.

The project examines how the Internet has transformed the way news is produced and disseminated, namely through its influence on traditional media, and its ultimate effect on media independence and content quality. To this end, I tackle three distinct but intertwined questions. First, I study how lower advertising revenues affect newspapers’ organization and content quality by exploiting the staggered introduction of advertising platform Craigslist across the US. Second, I examine how media dependence on advertisers influences news bias by testing the relationship between advertising spending by car manufacturers and coverage of car safety recalls in US newspapers. Finally, I study how the dependence of media on banks affects coverage of financial issues; focusing on Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, I test whether newspapers linked to banks with higher exposure to risky debt endorsed different crisis-management measures. My results will shed light on the deep transformations the media industry is undergoing and their implications for the quality of democracy.

 

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