Shifts and context in political news 1945 – now

The relation between the political arena and news media coverage occupies a central place in the study of Political Communication. Studies into the newsworthiness of political events and actors show that especially powerful actors get most news coverage, while actual work in the political arena has less effect. Studies in Agenda Setting show that the influence between politics and the media goes both ways, and strongly depends on the political context. Work on the mediatisation of politics posits that the role of the media has changed in the time period under study, with the journalist becoming more important in determining the content of both media and politics.

This project focuses on determining the way in which the topic, political context, and involved politicians determine the relation between political discourse and preceding and following news coverage, where we are especially interested in long term shifts in the relation between press and politics. The data used for this project will be based on Hollinks PoliMedia project and Van Atteveldt’s AmCAT toolkit.4 PoliMedia has yielded a linked set of political debates and their newspaper coverage of 1945 – 1995. This set will be extended to 2013 by including recent coverage from the AmCAT database. Moreover, this set will be enriched by coding the topic and the involved politicians, using techniques developed in the Mediated Politics VENI project of Van Atteveldt.

Research questions:

  1. Can we explain the amount of newspaper coverage a parliamentary debate receives based on the topic, the involved politicians, and the political cycle?
  2. Which politicians are quoted in newspaper coverage of Parliament? Is this representative of their presence in parliamentary discourse, or dictated by the logic of power and/or conflict?

Does the relation between political logic and media logic shift over time?



  •  Franz-Xaver Geiger
    BSc Computer Science
  • Chantal van Son
    RMa Linguistics
  • Ellis Aizenberg
    MSc Communication Science