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Political Science and Political Economy Research Seminar

Who Watches the Watchmen? Local News and Police Behavior in the United States

Nicola Mastrorocco (Trinity College Dublin), joint with Arianna Ornaghi (Hertie School)

Tuesday 15 March 2022 14:00 - 15:30

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

Do U.S. municipal police departments respond to news coverage of local crime? We address this question exploiting an exogenous shock to local crime reporting induced by acquisitions of local TV stations by a large broadcast group, Sinclair. Using a unique dataset of 8.5 million news stories and a triple differences design, we document that Sinclair acquisitions decrease news coverage of local crime. This matters for policing: municipalities that experience the change in news coverage have lower violent crime clearance rates relative to municipalities that do not. The result is consistent with a decrease of crime salience in the public opinion.

The Political Science and Political Economy (PSPE) research group at the LSE brings together faculty and PhD students who do quantitative and/or formal research on political institutions, political behaviour, public policy, and political economy.

The PSPE Research Seminar provides a venue for researchers (mostly from outside of the LSE) to present their work.

These seminars are held on Tuesdays in term time at 14.00-15.30, both ONLINE AND IN PERSON in room 32L 3.05, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar coordinator: Dr Stephane Wolton

Contact gov.comms@lse.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list and to recieve the zoom link.