Sam Schulhofer-Wohl and Miguel Garrido have a new NBER working paper entitled Do Newspapers Matter? Evidence from the Closure of The Cincinnati Post, which looks at the local political ramifications of one newspaper’s closure. From the abstract:
The Cincinnati Post published its last edition on New Year’s Eve 2007, leaving the Cincinnati Enquirer as the only daily newspaper in the market. The next year, fewer candidates ran for municipal office in the suburbs most reliant on the Post, incumbents became more likely to win re-election, and voter turnout fell…. Although our findings are statistically imprecise, they demonstrate that newspapers — even underdogs such as the Post, which had a circulation of just 27,000 when it closed — can have a substantial and measurable impact on public life.