Newspaper Closures Polarize Voting Behavior Academic Article uri icon


  • The Author(s) 2018. Changes to the media environment have increased polarized voting in America through both addition and subtraction. We argue that the decline of local newspapers has contributed to the nationalization of American politics: as local newspapers close, Americans rely more heavily on available national news or partisan heuristics to make political decisions. We assess the impact of newspaper closures on polarized voting, using genetic matching to compare counties that are statistically similar but for the loss of a local newspaper. We identify a small but significant causal decrease in split-ticket voting in presidential and senatorial elections in these matched communities: in areas where a newspaper closed, split-ticket voting decreased by 1.9%.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 796.386

author list (cited authors)

  • Darr, J. P., Hitt, M. P., & Dunaway, J. L.

citation count

  • 69

complete list of authors

  • Darr, Joshua P||Hitt, Matthew P||Dunaway, Johanna L

publication date

  • December 2018