The Rise of the Fourth Estate

Edited by Matthew Gentzkow, Edward L. Glaeser and Claudia Goldin

in Corruption and Reform

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780226299570
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226299594 | DOI:
The Rise of the Fourth Estate

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This chapter investigates the history of how newspapers became informative in relation to the issue of corruption in the U.S. It discusses the evolution of media bias using three types of evidence and constructs a basic measure of bias: stated party affiliation. The analysis reveals that while stated political independence is no guarantee of independence, stated party affiliation is surely a guarantee of bias. The result also indicates that the rise of the informative press was the result of increased scale and competitiveness in the newspaper industry and that technological progress was the cause of these changes.

Keywords: newspapers; corruption; U.S.; media bias; stated party affiliation; political independence; informative press; technological progress

Chapter.  17183 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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