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NICEP 2021-06: Slanted media does not increase police killings



To what extent do slanted media influence police perceptions and thereby their use of violent forces? We know that media bias affects many aspects of American life, such as perceptions of facts and views of politicians and policies. In this paper, we show that there is little evidence that slanted media influences police violence. To assess this relationship, we employ instrument variable estimation using the quasirandom positioning of FNC in the cable lineup as a source of exogenous variation in viewership. The evidence shows that increased exposure to FNC does not lead to more frequent police killings of Black people or people of other races. Our results suggest that slanted media coverage of crimes does not necessarily lead to fatal racial discrimination by police officers.


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Charles Crabtree and Michael Poyker


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Posted on Wednesday 8th December 2021

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