Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions

  title={Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions},
  author={A. Gerber and D. Karlan and Daniel E. Bergan},
  journal={Behavioral \& Experimental Economics},
We conducted a field experiment to measure the effect of exposure to newspapers on political behavior and opinion. Before the 2005 Virginia gubernatorial election, we randomly assigned individuals to a Washington Post free subscription treatment, a Washington Times free subscription treatment, or a control treatment. We find no effect of either paper on political knowledge, stated opinions, or turnout in post-election survey and voter data. However, receiving either paper led to more support… Expand
Media Bias Effects on Voters in Pakistan
The news media play a significant role in shaping political opinions and party choices of voters as most of the people learn about politics through media. The study investigated the influence ofExpand
Media and Political Persuasion in Young Democracies: Evidence from Russia
How do media affect voting behavior? What difference an independent media outlet can make in a country with state-controlled media? We address these question using exogenous variation in theExpand
The Review of Economics and Statistics
African elections often reveal low levels of political accountability. We assess different forms of voter education during an election in Mozambique. Three interventions providing information toExpand
The Effect of Media on Voters: Field Experiment at the Moscow Mayoral Elections.
This paper studies the effect of negative campaign at the 2013 Moscow mayoral election. The newspaper which criticized the incumbent mayor was distributed near the entrances of randomly selected 20Expand
Newspaper Closures Polarize Voting Behavior
Changes to the media environment have increased polarized voting in America through both addition and subtraction. We argue that the decline of local newspapers has contributed to the nationalizationExpand
Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia
How do media affect voting behavior? What difference can an independent media outlet make in a country with state-controlled media? Our paper addresses these questions by comparing electoral outcomesExpand
The Role of Media Distrust in Partisan Voting
As an institution, the American news media have become highly unpopular in recent decades. Yet, we do not thoroughly understand the consequences of this unpopularity for mass political behavior.Expand
News Media and Crime Perceptions: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
In democracies, voters rely on media outlets to learn about politically salient issues. This raises an important question: how strongly can media affect public perceptions? This paper uses a naturalExpand
What Persuades Voters? A Field Experiment on Political Campaigning
Political campaigns spend millions of dollars each voting cycle on persuading voters, and it is well established that these campaigns do affect voting decisions. What is less understood is whatExpand
Attitudes Toward the News Media and American Voting Behavior
As an institution, the news media in the United States are highly unpopular. Yet, we know little about the consequences of this unpopularity for American politics. This paper examines the effect ofExpand


Partisan Cues and the Media: Information Flows in the 1992 Presidential Election
Electoral research acknowledges the growing significance of the mass media in contemporary campaigns, but scholars are divided on the nature of this influence. Using a unique database that includesExpand
Media Exposure and Political Discussion in U.S. Elections
Media content and interpersonal discussion both affect mass political behavior. However, assessment of the relationship between media and discussion is complicated by the difficulty in establishingExpand
Television and Voter Turnout
I use variation across markets in the timing of television's introduction to identify its impact on voter turnout. The estimated effect is significantly negative, accounting for between a quarter andExpand
Type-Set Politics: Impact of Newspapers on Public Confidence *
This study combines survey data from the 1974 American National Election Study with the front-page content of 94 newspapers in an investigation of the relationship between the degree of negativeExpand
The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting
Does media bias affect voting? We analyze the entry of Fox News in cable markets and its impact on voting. Between October 1996 and November 2000, the conservative Fox News Channel was introduced inExpand
Partisan Bias in Economic News: Evidence on the Agenda-Setting Behavior of U.S. Newspapers
We study the agenda-setting political behavior of a large sample of U.S. newspapers during the last decade, and the behavior of smaller samples for longer time periods. Our purpose is to examine theExpand
Newspapers, Television and Political Reasoning
Adults' use of newspapers is found to correlate positively with having reasons for preferring one U.S. senatorial candidate over another. Television exposure is negatively related to politicalExpand
The effects of canvassing, direct mail, and telephone contact on voter turnout: A field experiment
We report the results of a randomized field experiment involving approximately 30,000 registered voters in New Haven, Connecticut. Nonpartisan get-out-the-vote messages were conveyed through personalExpand
Campaign Issue Knowledge and Salience: Comparing Reception from TV Commercials, TV News and Newspapers
Theory: The impact of media sources including televised political commercials, television news, and newspapers on candidate issue position knowledge and issuebased candidate evaluations is explored.Expand
Mass Communication and Political Socialization: Specifying the Effects
STUDIES examining the role of mass communication in young people's learning about politics indicate that the media contribute to political socialization, but the research does little to unravel theExpand