I investigate the causal eect of access to relevant local television on i) U.S. citizens'
knowledge of their senators' actions in the Senate and ii) whether citizens hold their
senators accountable for these actions. To do so, I utilize the mismatch between the
local television markets and the states. This mismatch causes citizens living in counties
where local television stations are based in their own state (in-state counties) to have
greater access to relevant news about their senators, compared to citizens living in coun-
ties served by local television based in a neighboring state (out-of-state counties). Using
survey data from the 2006 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, I find that the
biased coverage of local television news leads to citizens in in-state counties, compared
to out-of-state counties, to be more informed about their senators' roll-call votes, as
well as more likely to hold opinions about these senators. However, I do not find that
the increased knowledge aects the likelihood that citizens evaluate their senators based
on the roll-call votes. This result suggests that passively acquired information through
local television is not su-cient for individuals to hold their senators accountable for
their actions in the Senate.
Uppsala, 2015. , 45 p.