Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/59681
Authors: 
Germano, Fabrizio
Meier, Martin
Year of Publication: 
2010
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1518
Abstract: 
Within a simple model of non-localized, Hotelling-type competition among arbitrary numbers of media outlets we characterize quality and content of media under different ownership structures. Assuming advertising-sponsored, profit-maximizing outlets, we show that (i) topics sensitive to advertisers can be underreported (self-censored) by all outlets in the market, (ii) self-censorship increases with the concentration of ownership, (iii) adding outlets, while keeping the number of owners fixed, may even increase self-censorship; the latter result relies on consumers' most preferred outlets being potentially owned by the same media companies. We argue that externalities resulting from self-censorship could be empirically large.
Subjects: 
media economics
media consolidation
media markets
advertising and commercial media bias
JEL: 
L13
L82
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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