Summary of Small Media, Big Impact

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Polarized societies, fake news, misinformation – in recent years many people have become concerned that the media is no longer able to fulfil its vital democratic role. Professor of Economics at Stanford University Matthew Gentzkow examines the results of a recent study on the impact of US mainstream journalism and finds that the outlook is not as bleak as it might seem. If you want to find out about the important role of the press and are interested in understanding how new and traditional media can work together, getAbstract recommends you read this article.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the media is so important for democracies;
  • How a group of researchers measured the impact of small media outlets; and
  • Why their results show that journalism still plays an influential role in setting agendas and inform opinions.
 

About the Author

Matthew Gentzkow is Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He studies empirical industrial organization and political economy, with a focus on media industries.

 

Summary

Freedom of the press is a vital part of a functioning democracy.

Many democratic states have policies that guarantee the freedom of the press. They consider it vital to the “welfare of society” that a wide range of information from a variety of sources is available to the public.

While there is little proof that the press can change a person’s opinion on a particular topic, research shows that it plays an important role in “agenda setting.”

People source their information from outlets that confirm their views.

Many traditional news organizations...


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