The mass media has two essential functions for political elites reaching towards their goals. The article by Peter Van Aelst and Stefaan Walgrave of the University of Antwerp dives into these.
Politicians need media for information. They acquire information about the world and politics through media, and use this information as an instrument. Secondly, the media functions as a political arena for politicians to promote themselves, and to promote issues important to them.
The study conceptualizes the two functions and shows how they have been implicitly underlying much of the existing literature. The article tells how this approach enables comparing role of the media between different politicians and political systems, opening up new possibilities for research.
The article “Information and Arena: The Dual Function of the News Media for Political Elites” was published in Journal of Communication and is available here (abstract public).
Picture: Mark Rutte geeft een interview aan RTV Utrecht in de Dutch Game Garden by Sebastiaan ter Burg, license CC BY 2.0.