How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant

Joshua S. Gans*, Andrew Leigh

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    We employ several different approaches to estimate the political position of Australian media outlets, relative to federal parliamentarians. First, we use parliamentary mentions to code over 100 public intellectuals on a left-right scale. We then estimate slant by using the number of mentions that each public intellectual receives in each media outlet. Second, we have independent raters separately code front-page election stories and headlines. Third, we tabulate the number of electoral endorsements that newspapers give to each side of politics in federal elections. Overall, we find that the Australian media are quite centrist, with very few outlets being statistically distinguishable from the middle of Australian politics. It is possible that this is because of the lack of competition in the Australian media market. To the extent that we can separate content slant from editorial slant, we find some evidence that editors are more partisan than journalists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-147
    Number of pages21
    JournalEconomic Record
    Issue number280
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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