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Chris Roth

Do People Value More Informative News?

We examine what motivates people to read news. Drawing on large representative samples of the US population with approximately 15,000 respondents, we measure and experimentally manipulate people's beliefs about the extent to which newspapers strategically suppress information. Inconsistent with the "more-information-is-better principle,'' we find that people who learn that a newspaper is less likely to strategically suppress information have a lower demand for news from this newspaper. The results from the main experiment and a series of follow-up experiments demonstrate that people have a demand for biased news, consistent with a preference for belief confirmation. We discuss the implications of our findings for the regulation of media markets.