Elephant Diaries: Measuring the Effect

This paper, a study of the effect of the closure of the Cincinnati Post on elections, got a good ride in the metamedia blogosphere a few weeks back when it came out, but I just got around to reading it. Interesting stuff, and you can see why it was popular with we inkstained scribes:

The Cincinnati Post published its last edition on New Year’s Eve 2007, leaving the Cincinnati Enquirer as the only daily newspaper in the market. The next year, fewer candidates ran for municipal office in the suburbs most reliant on the Post, incumbents became more likely to win re-election, and voter turnout fell.

I’d love to see some clever data maven look at Albuquerque in the same way since the Tribune closed.

The authors conclude the paper with a bit of poetry that recalls the Albuquerque Tribune’s lighthouse:

The logo of the E.W. Scripps Co., printed on the front page of all its newspapers, is a lighthouse. This paper describes what happened when one of Scripps’ lights went out. The Cincinnati Post was a relatively small newspaper, with circulation of only 27,000 when it closed. Nonetheless, its absence appears to have made local elections less competitive along several dimensions: incumbent advantage, voter turnout and the number of candidates for office.