Investigative journalism and media capture in the digital age

Jay Pil Choi, Sangwoo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper develops a model of investigative journalism and media capture in the market for news with the depreciation of the value of news over time and a limited exclusive supply period of original news due to copying by other media outlets. We make distinctions between traditional media outlets that engage in investigative journalism and fringe digital media that mainly copy and spread original news created elsewhere. We show that the quantity and quality of news with investigative journalism decrease and media capture is more likely as digital technologies induce a lower fixed cost of entry for the fringe firms and a shorter exclusive supply period of news. These results may explain why there is scant evidence for the conventional view that more media outlets lead to higher quality news and less political capture, despite proliferation of news and information outlets in the digital age.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100942
JournalInformation Economics and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Co-Editor (Luis Aguiar), an Associate Editor, and two anonymous referees for very helpful and constructive comments which greatly improved this article. Youngjun Lee provided excellent research assistance. This article has been developed partially from a chapter of Sangwoo Yang’s Ph.D. dissertation. This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2020S1A5A2A01040865).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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