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Article

Aandacht trekken of advies verstrekken?

De aanwezigheid van middenveldorganisaties in adviesraad- en beeldbuispolitiek

Keywords advocacy groups, political arena, media arena, access, Flanders
Authors Bert Fraussen en Ruud Wouters
Author's information

Bert Fraussen
Bert Fraussen is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Research School of the Social Sciences, Australian National University (ANU). Daarnaast is hij ook lid van de onderzoeksgroep ACIM (Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics) aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek focust op belangengroepen en lobbying, meer specifiek op de ontwikkeling van belangenorganisaties en hun interactie met beleidsmakers.

Ruud Wouters
Ruud Wouters is postdoctoraal onderzoeker bij het Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) en lid van onderzoeksgroep M2P (Media, Middenveld & Politiek; Universiteit Antwerpen).
  • Abstract

      Advocacy groups can contribute to the public debate in many different ways. In this contribution we compare the presence of Belgian advocacy groups in two crucial arenas: the media arena and the political arena. We analyze the presence of advocacy groups in the 12 strategic advisory councils of the Flemish government (political arena) and the 19 o’clock newscasts of the most important public and commercial television stations in Flanders. We argue that while each arena has its own logic, elements of the political logic are echoed in the media logic. Our results show that access to both arenas is cumulative: the same organizations dominate both arenas. Both arenas are not perfect reflections of each other though. Organizations lacking access to the political arena can rise in the media arena by offering conflict and spectacle. However, this is the exception rather than the rule, as most ‘political outsiders’ gain little attention from journalists. We conclude that mass media tend to follow and reinforce political power, rather than offering challengers a level playing field.

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