Clicks Bias in Editorial Decisions: How Does Popularity Shape Online News Coverage?

Ananya Sen, Carnegie Mellon University, and Pinar Yildirim, Assistant Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School

Ideas for India, May 2015

Abstract: Identifying whether newspaper editors focus on what is “newsworthy” or what is “trendy” when choosing stories is important for the design of media regulation. This column shows how the popularity of an article, reflected by online clicks, influences the coverage of the story. However, this strategy operates differently for ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ news and hence, does not lead to a general decline of the quality of content.

Pinar YildirimWatch Pinar Yildirim discuss this research here.

Read the paper here.