Joshua Darr

Ph.D. Student in American Politics

Dissertation Title: "Using the Local News: Campaigns, Newspapers, and Accountability"

Dissertation Committee: Matthew Levendusky, Marc Meredith, John Lapinski

Description: I argue that campaigns and local news media interact strategically to generate local political content that informs voters and strengthens democratic accountability. I outline a theory of local news production and contend that local news provides a vital source of political information that cannot be replaced by national news sources. Local news sources produce locally framed news because it helps their sales. Campaigns can subsidize a newspaper’s production of locally oriented political news by investing resources in a community. I demonstrate that the information conveyed by local newspapers informs voters about political races in their area and enables voters to hold their elected officials accountable. I also show that campaigns can shape the amount and tone of earned local media they receive by establishing a regional presence. Local newspapers are threatened by changes in the media marketplace but remain an essential source of political information for voters.

University of Pennsylvania
208 S. 37th Street, Room 217
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6215
Phone: (215) 898-7641

Edward Mansfield Chair
Matthew Levendusky Graduate Chair
John Lapinski Undergraduate Chair