October 2020

IZA DP No. 13805: National or Local? The Demand for News in Italy during COVID-19

Stefano Castriota, Marco Delmastro, Mirco Tonin

Looking at TV news viewership in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic, we investigate whether demand for national and local news depends on national or local events. Exploiting the fact that epidemiological developments display a great deal of variation among the different regions, we find that demand for both national news and, more surprisingly, local news responds to the national epidemiological developments rather than to the local ones. This implies that local politicians have a further incentive to take preventive action.