Partisanship and the New Economics of the Media - A lunch presentation with David Westin, former President of ABC News
April 29, 2011 12:45pm - 2:00pm
Sponsored by the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
Room 90, Stanford Law School
About the lunch event: It is now common to bemoan the increased extremism in views expressed in the media and in the political discourse overall. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that there are powerful financial incentives that the very structure of the cable news business provides for political extremes. Incentives on the Internet may be similar. If the medium is the message, then the medium today may be directing the message in ways that can have profound implications for public discourse and the political process. If these trends continue, then the over-representation of hyper-partisan views in the media may be pre-ordained, not because of ideology, but because of economics. Put together with structural incentives for politicians to appeal to the extremes, the effect may well be to skew decision-making in ways that don’t accurately reflect where the people overall want to go.