Choosing a media outlet when seeking public approval
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This paper considers the media outlet choice of a politician who seeks public approval for a political agenda in a broadcast interview. The available media outlets differ in their “toughness” towards the politician. An interview with a tougher media outlet is more informative, but is also more likely to yield a negative outcome. The choice of the media outlet determines the accuracy of the information that flows to the public and the volume of citizens who consume that information. The analysis shows that (1) politicians who enjoy sufficient popularity are likely to avoid tough media outlets, (2) when seeking approval for controversial agendas, politicians are more likely to appear in tougher outlets.
KeywordsMedia outlets Public approval Broadcast interview Strategic politician
JEL ClassificationD72 D83 L82
I am grateful to William F. Shughart II (Editor), Pete Leeson (Co-editor) and an anonymous referee of this journal whose comments substantially improved both the exposition and the content of this paper. I would also like to thank my colleagues Santanu Roy and James Lake for useful comments on earlier versions of the paper. All remaining errors are my own.
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