Press coverage keeps voters, politicians on their toes

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Washington, May 9(ANI): If a new study is to be believed, coverage of a politician in a local newspaper not only keeps the politicians on their toes, but also keeps the voters more informed.

"Our findings support the idea that press coverage is important for electoral accountability," write the study's authors, James Snyder from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and David Strvmberg of Stockholm University. "Voters need information to keep politicians accountable and the press delivers this information."

The research also says that the corollary is also true - that current trend toward fewer local newspapers could make for less responsive politicians in the future.

The findings say that if a large number of people belong to one constituency, the paper prints more about that politician. This in turn, causes the politicians to pay more attention to local issues. The result is a more participatory behaviour from the voters in terms of elections and knowledge of that party leader.

"The trend is likely to decrease the congruence at local levels," the researchers write. "This might not only affect the congruence of congressional districts, but also that of municipalities, counties and other local government units. Our results suggest that this is likely to reduce voter information, political participation and political accountability," comment the authors.

This study is to be published next week in the Journal of Political Economy. (ANI)

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