Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Local news in Google News: a response to Fischer et al. (2020)

Magnusson, Evan (2021): Local news in Google News: a response to Fischer et al. (2020).

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Prior research has shown news aggregators, including Google News, to be beneficial to news outlets. In this article, I analyze why Fischer et al. (2020) produce contradictory results -- essentially claiming that local news outlets are disadvantaged in Google News relative to national ones. I find that the authors’ Gini coefficient measuring inequality in articles returned for local and national outlets to be highly biased by an error in its computation, and correcting this error reduces the value by up to 80% for some topics. I also show that the authors fail to highlight their own results showing the degree to which Google News returns local outlets in local searches, and that they further contradict their own results with numerous statements in the text.

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