Capital Ideas Blog

Cark Medalist: Internet isn't death sentence for good journalism

By Chelsea Vail

From: Blog

The bell tolls for good journalism, and it's all the internet's fault—at least, that's what the Economist told us in 2006, Time told us in 2008, CNN told us in 2010, and so on. But is the internet rightly accused by so many pointed fingers? 

No, no it is not, says Chicago Booth's Matthew Gentzkow in a new paper, "Trading Dollars for Dollars: The Price of Attention Online and Offline," which we cover in depth in the Summer 2014 issue of Capital Ideas.

Gentzkow, named 2014 John Bates Clark Medalist for his contributions to media economics, says it's a myth that online advertising is inherently cheaper than print. 

It's "all about people quoting things in units that are not comparable to each other—doing apples to orange comparisons," he says.

Gentzkow has also investigated the internet's effect on political polarization—it's a much more ideologically diverse place, he told us in an episode of The Big Question, than some, including Cass Sunstein, have claimed. 

For more coverage of Gentzkow's research, see the Fall 2014 cover story "The secrets of shopping," the accompanying documentary, "Beyond big data: New perspectives on marketing," and "The Big Question: Is there an alternative to Obamacare?"


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