The wages of blogging
Thursday, May 19th, 2005
Hmm, looks like the stakes in web publishing is rising. In France, a blogger gets sued by the mayor for “les critiques incivique.”
And in NY, my old hack-mate Nick gets cream pied. Here’s another view:
And Virginia Postrel in todays NYT looks at bias in the news business as “a feature not a bug:”
But one person’s contradiction is another’s market niche. Those differences help answer an economic puzzle: if bias is a product flaw, why does it not behave like auto repair rates, declining under competitive pressure?
In a recent paper, “The Market for News,” two Harvard economists look at that question. “There’s plenty of competition” among news sources, Sendhil Mullainathan, one of the authors, said in an interview. But “the more competition there has been in the last 20 years, the more discussion there has been of bias.”
The reason, he and his colleague, Andrei Shleifer, argue, is that consumers care about more than accuracy. “We assume that readers prefer to hear or read news that are more consistent with their beliefs,” they write. Bias is not a bug but a feature.
In a competitive news market, they argue, producers can use bias to differentiate their products and stave off price competition. Bias increases consumer loyalty.
Via Glenn Reyonlds.
And don’t forget blogebrity, a brilliant idea.