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Profits Over Principles: Redlining In The Newspaper Industry, Alex T. Williams Jan 2018

Profits Over Principles: Redlining In The Newspaper Industry, Alex T. Williams

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation tests previous unsubstantiated accusations that newspapers intentionally draw their circulation boundaries to exclude minority areas to make their audience look more white and affluent to increase advertising revenue. Analyzing 328 daily newspapers from 2002 – 2015, this dissertation compares the demographics of the zip codes a newspaper serves to the neighboring zip codes a newspaper does not serve. Mirroring how the Department of Justice has defined redlining under the legal theory of disparate impact, I argue that newspapers who serve minority residents at less than 4/5’s the rate of white residents have created discriminatory practices. Using this ...