Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Christiaan Hogendorn

Major

Mathematics-Economics

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

The emergence of digital technologies has transformed the news industry, and news aggregators have become the most popular news destinations online. This thesis analyzes how online news aggregators affect the online news distribution over time. Specifically, it examines the distribution of the link frequency for each domain appearing on Google News over different periods of time and tests the long tail hypothesis, which states that the tail of the link frequency distribution should be getting longer and fatter over the years. Since most major news websites are now owned by a small group of companies, I incorporate ownership information into this analysis. I found that although more and more small and niche news websites are getting linked from Google News, each receives links only a limited number of times. The long tail hypothesis is not fully supported at the domain level; over time, the tail is only lengthened, but not fattened. Moreover, domain characteristics affect a domain’s link frequency. Analyzing the link frequency distribution at the owner level, I found that with ownership aggregation the tail becomes even thinner.

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