Study: Competition between TV stations spurs investigative journalism

[Commentary] My research suggests that managers of local television, the most popular news source in the US, recognize the competitive value of investigative reports (I measured competition as the degree of similarity between stations in Nielsen market “shares”). Original, enterprise investigative reporting can help differentiate a station’s product from rival products, and other studies suggest investigative news has broad appeal. Stations owned by corporations with public shareholders (often a sign of large, profit-minded companies), such as Sinclair, produced more investigative journalism than stations owned by smaller, private companies in my research. 

[Jesse Abdenour is currently an assistant professor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.]


Study: Competition between TV stations spurs investigative journalism