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Press Coverage and Political Accountability (2008)
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by James M. Snyder, Jr. , David Strömberg
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35 - 4 self
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@MISC{Snyder08presscoverage,
    author = {James M. Snyder and Jr. and David Strömberg},
    title = { Press Coverage and Political Accountability},
    year = {2008}
}
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Abstract
In this paper we estimate the impact of press coverage on citizen knowledge, politicians' actions, and policy. We find that a poor fit between newspaper markets and political districts reduces press coverage of politics. We use variation in this fit due to redistricting to identify the effects of reduced coverage. Exploring the links in the causal chain of media effects -- voter information, politicians ' actions and policy -- we find statistically significant and substantively important effects. Voters living in areas with less coverage of their U.S. House representative are less likely to recall their representative's name, and less able to describe and rate them. Congressmen who are less covered by the local press work less for their constituencies: they are less likely to stand witness before congressional hearings, to serve on constituency-oriented committees (perhaps), and to vote against the party line. Finally, this congressional behavior affects policy. Federal spending is lower in areas where there is less press coverage of the local members of congress.
Keyphrases
press coverage    political accountability    party line    medium effect voter information    reduced coverage    local member    federal spending    constituency-oriented committee    citizen knowledge    congressional hearing    local press work    poor fit    causal chain    congressional behavior affect policy    political district    u.s. house representative    important effect    newspaper market   
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