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Strategic Information Transmission through the Media

Jung, Hanjoon Michael (2007): Strategic Information Transmission through the Media.

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Abstract

We model media manipulation in which a sender or senders manipulate information through the media to influence receivers. We show that if there is only one sender who has a conditional preference for maintaining its credibility in reporting accurate information and if the receivers face a coordination situation without information about their opponents' types, the sender could influence the receivers to make decisions according to the sender's primary preference by manipulating the information through the media, which makes the report common knowledge. This is true even when the sender and the receivers have contradictory primary preferences. This result extends to the cases in which the sender has imperfect information or in which the sender's primary preference is to maintain its credibility. In the case of multiple senders, however, when there is enough competition among the senders or when simultaneous reporting takes place, the receivers could play their favored outcome against senders' preferences, which sheds light on a solution to the media manipulation problem.

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