Concentration and Self-Censorship in Commercial Media

Fabrizio Germano, Martin Meier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Given that over half the revenues of global newspaper publishing come from advertising (80% in the US and 57% in OECD countries, OECD, 2010), we study how media firms internalize the effect of their own coverage on advertisers' sales and hence on their own advertising revenues. We show, within a framework of non-localized, Hotelling-type competition among arbitrary numbers of media firms and outlets, that (i) topics sensitive to advertisers can be underreported by all outlets in the market, (ii) underreporting tends to increase with the concentration of ownership, and (iii) adding outlets, while keeping the number of owners fixed, can further increase the bias. We argue that self-censorship can potentially cover a wide range of topics and generate empirically large externalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117
Number of pages130
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Volume97
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Oct 2012

Cite this

Concentration and Self-Censorship in Commercial Media. / Germano, Fabrizio; Meier, Martin.

In: Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 97, 08.10.2012, p. 117.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9af444662b50499da22176e5accfe8a6,
title = "Concentration and Self-Censorship in Commercial Media",
abstract = "Given that over half the revenues of global newspaper publishing come from advertising (80{\%} in the US and 57{\%} in OECD countries, OECD, 2010), we study how media firms internalize the effect of their own coverage on advertisers' sales and hence on their own advertising revenues. We show, within a framework of non-localized, Hotelling-type competition among arbitrary numbers of media firms and outlets, that (i) topics sensitive to advertisers can be underreported by all outlets in the market, (ii) underreporting tends to increase with the concentration of ownership, and (iii) adding outlets, while keeping the number of owners fixed, can further increase the bias. We argue that self-censorship can potentially cover a wide range of topics and generate empirically large externalities.",
author = "Fabrizio Germano and Martin Meier",
year = "2012",
month = "10",
day = "8",
doi = "10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.09.009",
language = "English",
volume = "97",
pages = "117",
journal = "Journal of Public Economics",
issn = "0047-2727",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Concentration and Self-Censorship in Commercial Media

AU - Germano, Fabrizio

AU - Meier, Martin

PY - 2012/10/8

Y1 - 2012/10/8

N2 - Given that over half the revenues of global newspaper publishing come from advertising (80% in the US and 57% in OECD countries, OECD, 2010), we study how media firms internalize the effect of their own coverage on advertisers' sales and hence on their own advertising revenues. We show, within a framework of non-localized, Hotelling-type competition among arbitrary numbers of media firms and outlets, that (i) topics sensitive to advertisers can be underreported by all outlets in the market, (ii) underreporting tends to increase with the concentration of ownership, and (iii) adding outlets, while keeping the number of owners fixed, can further increase the bias. We argue that self-censorship can potentially cover a wide range of topics and generate empirically large externalities.

AB - Given that over half the revenues of global newspaper publishing come from advertising (80% in the US and 57% in OECD countries, OECD, 2010), we study how media firms internalize the effect of their own coverage on advertisers' sales and hence on their own advertising revenues. We show, within a framework of non-localized, Hotelling-type competition among arbitrary numbers of media firms and outlets, that (i) topics sensitive to advertisers can be underreported by all outlets in the market, (ii) underreporting tends to increase with the concentration of ownership, and (iii) adding outlets, while keeping the number of owners fixed, can further increase the bias. We argue that self-censorship can potentially cover a wide range of topics and generate empirically large externalities.

U2 - 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.09.009

DO - 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.09.009

M3 - Article

VL - 97

SP - 117

JO - Journal of Public Economics

JF - Journal of Public Economics

SN - 0047-2727

ER -