Mass media can play a key role in enabling citizens to monitor the actions of incumbents and to use this information in their voting decisions. This can lead to government which is more accountable and responsive to its citizens' needs. In spite of the intuitive plausibility of the proposition, there is comparatively little work in political economy literature that scrutinises the role and effectiveness of the media in fulfilling this function. A literature, however, is emerging which focuses attention on the importance of the so-called 'fourth estate of government' in the policy process. A key feature of the approach taken here is to focus on incentives the media have to produce and disseminate information
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