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.