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A Citizens-Editors Model of News Media

Sobbrio, Francesco (2009): A Citizens-Editors Model of News Media.

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Abstract

We model a market for news where profit maximizing media outlets choose their editors from a population of rational citizens. We show that when information acquisition is costly, liberal (conservative) citizens find optimal to acquire information from a media outlet having a liberal (conservative) editor. Consequently, we show that depending on the distribution of citizens' ideological preferences, a media outlet may choose to hire a non-moderate editor even in a monopolistic market. Moreover, the higher the degree of competition in the market for news, the more likely that media outlets will hire non-moderate editors. Finally, less moderate editors are more likely to be hired in a news market where the opportunity cost of acquiring information for citizens is low.

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