ARTICLE: Comments, agendas, media slants, and more


A new issue The International Journal of Press/Politics has just been published. The July issue of the journal has several articles on politics and journalism studies by European scholars.

The first article, titled Minimal and Massive! Politicians’ Views on the Media’s Political Agenda-Setting Power Revisited, is about media’s political agenda setting power and written by Juho Vesa, Helena Blomberg and Christian Kroll of University of Helsinki.

In the article, Vesa, Blomberg and Kroll ask how politicians view media’s power over agenda setting. A survey of Finnish politicians show that they perceive media’s power to be massive regarding symbolic power, but only minimal to moderate regarding substantial political agendas.


The next article, written by Lotte Melenhorst of Leiden University, looks at media’s role in the lawmaking process. In order to provide insight into the influence journalists exert on this fundamental aspect of politics, the case study analyzes the role of media attention in the legislative process.

This particular case concerned the legal regulation of (semi)public officials’ remuneration in the Netherlands. The results of the analysis show that during the legislative process political actors responded to media attention both directly and indirectly.

A Tale of Two Stories from “Below the Line” – Comment Fields at the Guardian by Todd Graham of University of Groningen and Scott Wright of University of Melbourne analyses the debates on “below the line” comment fields in the Guardian (UK), and especially the 3 792 comments on 85 articles, all focused on the UN Climate Change Summit.


They also interviewed 10 journalists, 2 affiliated commentators and the community manager of Guardian to find out how journalists viewed their debates with the citizens. The results suggest that the debates were often deliberative in nature, and journalists reported that the comments positively impacted their practice in several ways.

Trust in Government and Media Slant
A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Media Effects in Twenty-Seven European Countries

Media exposure affects confidence in political institutions, write Andrea Ceron of Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy and Vincenzo Memoli of Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy. Ceron and Memoli have analyzed trust in government in 27 European countries.

Using the Eurobarometer survey data, they measured the effects of the ideological slant of newspapers and public television on trust in government. The study shows that media indeed acts like an echo-chamber – it reinforces pre-existing attitudes. Furthermore, the consumption of counter-attitudinal information barely alters trust in government nor does it produce hostile media effects.

Read the articles and more here (abstracts public).

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