Brown bag seminar | Hosting Media Bias: Evidence from the Universe of French Television and Radio Shows, 2002-2020
Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics (SITE) cordially invites you to join the hybrid brown bag seminar with Julia Cage presenting a working paper titled`Hosting Media Bias: Evidence from the Universe of French Television and Radio Shows, 2002-2020´.
Hosting Media Bias: Evidence from the Universe of French Television and Radio Shows, 2002-2020
Authors: Julia Cage (Sciences Po Paris), Moritz Hengel (Sciences Po Paris), Nicolas Hervé (INA) and Camille Urvoy (University of Mannheim)
What role do journalists and media owners play in slanting media content? In this paper, we open the black box of news production and investigate whether and how journalists themselves decide to bias the news and shield content production from owner inﬂuence. To do so, we build a novel dataset on hosts and guests in all French radio and television shows between 2002 and 2020, covering 6.3 million shows, and identify the political orientation (if any) of all the 309, 416 invited guests. First, we use the speaking time share of both politicians and politically engaged non-politician guests (PENOPs) and document substantial variations in political slant across channels and ownership groups; we ﬁnd that the inclusion of the speaking time of PENOPs strongly modiﬁes the overall picture, an aspect not traditionally monitored in most countries. Next, we use hosts working for different channels and owners to show that, controlling for demand- and supply-driven bias, journalists themselves slant media content. Finally, we document in a difference-in-differences framework how the takeover of the Canal+ Group in 2015 by Vincent Bolloré (the "French Murdoch") affected the slant of the acquired channels. In particular, we show that by 2019-20 the air time share devoted on CNews to radical-right guests has increased by nearly 15 percentage points compared to a baseline of 7.4 percent in 2013-14. One mechanism for this is the turnover of hosts, who become more likely to leave the channels, with the effect being particularly strong for the two Bolloré channels that were most to the left prior the takeover.
About the speaker
Julia Cage is the recipient of a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for a five-year project on “Campaign finance, Information and Influence: A Comprehensive Approach Using Individual-Level Data and Computer Sciences Tools” (PARTICIPATE) (legal information).
Julia is also co-director of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP)’s “Evaluation of Democracy” research group & a Research Fellow of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) (Economic History, Industrial Organization, and Public Economics Programs).
Julia's research focuses on media economics, political participation and political attitudes.
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