DP10638 | Media Coverage and Political Accountability: Theory and Evidence


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This chapter investigates how media coverage filters information and how this affects political accountability and policy. I first present a baseline model of media coverage and its affect political accountability. The model is used to discuss the welfare consequences of private provision of news. It shows how media regulation and public broadcasting may correct market failures, notably the under-provision of news. The model also supplies an array of testable implications, used to organize the existing empirical work. The key empirical questions are: what drives media coverage of politics; how does this coverage influence the information levels and the voting behavior of the general public, the actions and selection of politicians and government policy?