Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 3 > Issue 4

Measuring Explicit Political Positions of Media

Daniel E. Ho, Stanford Law School, USA, dho@law.stanford.edu , Kevin M. Quinn, Department of Government and Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University, USA, kevin_quinn@harvard.edu
Suggested Citation
Daniel E. Ho and Kevin M. Quinn (2008), "Measuring Explicit Political Positions of Media", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 3: No. 4, pp 353-377. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00008048

Publication Date: 31 Dec 2008
© 2008 D. E. Ho and K. M. Quinn
Public opinion,  Judiciary,  Interest groups


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In this article:
Our Approach 
A New Dataset on Supreme Court Editorials 
A New Measurement of Newspaper Ideology 
How Permeable is the Wall Between News and Editorial Staffs? 
Appendix: Data Collection 


We amass a new, large-scale dataset of newspaper editorials that allows us to calculate fine-grained measures of the political positions of newspaper editorial pages. Collecting and classifying over 1500 editorials adopted by 25 major US newspapers on 495 Supreme Court cases from 1994 to 2004, we apply an item response theoretic approach to place newspaper editorial boards on a substantively meaningful — and long validated — scale of political preferences. We validate the measures, show how they can be used to shed light on the permeability of the wall between news and editorial desks, and argue that the general strategy we employ has great potential for more widespread use.