Cross-checking the media
Title: Cross-checking the media
Author: RUDIGER, Jesper
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2013/17
A characteristic of the news market is that consumers often cross-check information, i.e. observe several news outlets. At the same time, data on political media suggest that more partisan consumers are more likely to cross-check. We explore these phenomena by building a model of horizontal competition in newspaper endorsements. Without cross-checking, outlets are unbiased and minimally differentiated. When cross-checking is allowed, we show that cross-checkers are indeed more partisan than those who only acquire one report. Furthermore, cross-checking induces outlets to differentiate, and the degree of differentiation is increasing in the dispersion of consumer beliefs. Differentiation is detrimental to consumer welfare, and a single monopoly outlet may provide higher consumer welfare than a competitive duopoly.
Subject: News markets; Media bias; Cross-checking; Hotelling; D82; D83; L81
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess