We conducted a field experiment to measure the effect of exposure
to newspapers on political behavior and opinion. Before the 2005
Virginia gubernatorial election, we randomly assigned individuals to
a Washington Post free subscription treatment, a Washington Times
free subscription treatment, or a control treatment. We find no effect
of either paper on political knowledge, stated opinions, or turnout in
post-election survey and voter data. However, receiving either paper
led to more support for the Democratic candidate, suggesting that
media slant mattered less in this case than media exposure. Some evidence
from voting records also suggests that receiving either paper led
to increased 2006 voter turnout. (JEL D72, L82)
Gerber, Alan S., Dean Karlan, and Daniel Bergan.
"Does the Media Matter? A Field Experiment Measuring the Effect of Newspapers on Voting Behavior and Political Opinions."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Models of Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior