Report says local races lacking TV coverage

"This crisis in local journalism translates to dwindling coverage of local candidates and election-year issues. Despite the continuing influence of local TV newsrooms, a 2011 FCC study found that many TV stations are providing very little news or none at all. The report finds that 33 percent of commercial TV stations air little to no local news whatsoever."

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) shot down the report's findings, arguing its premise is flawed.

"Free Press apparently believes there's too little election coverage, a premise that seems shaky given the political discourse, debates and candidate coverage that Americans see and hear every day on many broadcast stations," NAB executive vice president for communications Dennis Wharton said.

"By embracing past studies that ignore the totality of our campaign coverage, Free Press demonstrates a disturbing intellectual dishonesty reminiscent of their previous attacks on broadcasting."

The report argues that even when local stations do air news coverage, viewers still get more information on local races from attack ads than from the news. The report blames bad media policy on the part of the Federal Communications Commission, which in turn resulted in consolidation and layoffs.