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Access_open An Actor Approach to Mediatization

Linking Politicians’ Media Perceptions, Communication Behaviour and Appearances in the News

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2021
Keywords mediatization, politicians, news media, media perceptions, news management
Authors Pauline Ketelaars and Peter Van Aelst
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the light of the broader debate on the mediatization of politics, this study wants to better understand how the media perceptions and media behaviour of politicians are related to their appearances in the news. We opt for an innovative actor-centred approach to actually measure the views and actions of individual politicians. We combine surveys conducted with 142 Belgian representatives with data on politicians’ external communication behaviour and on their appearances in television news, newspapers and news websites. The results show that media behaviour is not so much related to beliefs of media importance. We do find a significant positive relationship between strategic media behaviour and media attention suggesting that politicians who put in more effort appear more often in various news media. However, this positive relationship depends on the specific form of strategic communication and the political position of the legislator. Our study adds to the mediatization literature by showing how and when politicians are successful in obtaining media attention.


Pauline Ketelaars
Pauline Ketelaars was a postdoctoral researcher of the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO). Her main research interests are political communication and social movements.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is a research professor at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp and a founding member of the research group ‘Media, Movements and Politics’ (M2P). His research focuses on political communication. Corresponding author: peter.vanaelst@uantwerpen.be.
Article

Twee handen op één buik?

Hoe en waarom de mediatisering van de Vlaamse politiek en particratie hand in hand gaan

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2018
Keywords mediatisation, particracy, media logic
Authors Peter Van Aelst
AbstractAuthor's information

    There is a growing consensus that politics have become mediatised. News media have become more independent and are more guided by their own routines and standards and less by what political actors deem important. However, this paper argues that this has not led to a decrease of the power of political parties. In Belgium, particracy and mediatisation seem to go hand in hand. There are mainly two reasons for this. Firstly, media attention focuses heavily on politicians with power and in that sense, media logic and party logic overlap. Secondly, parties have adjusted well to the media and their logic, among others by integrating journalists in the party organisation. We expect that social media will gradually become more important for politicians, but that this evolution too will change little to the central position of political parties in our democracy.


Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is onderzoeksprofessor aan het departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek. Hij doet onderzoek naar de oorzaken en gevolgen van de mediatisering van de politiek, verkiezingscampagnes, nieuwe media en politiek nieuws. Zijn onderzoek verschijnt in toonaangevende internationale tijdschriften, maar ook in publicaties voor een breder publiek.
Article

Van de krant naar de Kamer en terug?

Een studie naar media-aandacht als inspiratie voor en resultaat van het Nederlandse vragenuur

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Question hour, media attention, parliamentary questions, newspaper coverage, content analysis
Authors Peter Van Aelst, Rosa van Santen, Lotte Melenhorst e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study on the role of media attention for the Dutch question hour answers these questions: to what extent is media attention a source of inspiration for oral parliamentary questions? What explains the newsworthiness of these questions? And what explains the extent of media coverage for the questions posed during the question hour? To address this, we present a content analysis of oral parliamentary questions and related press coverage in five recent years. Results show first that oral questions are usually based on media attention for a topic. Concerns about media influence should however be nuanced: it is not necessarily the coverage itself, but also regularly a political statement that is the actual source of a parliamentary question. The media are thus an important ‘channel’ for the interaction between politicians. Second, our analysis shows that oral questions do not receive media attention naturally. Several news values help to explain the amount of news coverage that questions receive. ‘Surfing the wave’ of news attention for a topic in the days previous to the question hour seems to be the best way to generate media attention.


Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Daarnaast is hij deeltijds verbonden aan de Universiteit Leiden als coördinator van een VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agenda-setting’, een vergelijkende studie naar de wederkerige relatie tussen media en politiek.

Rosa van Santen
Rosa van Santen is projectleider bij het Commissariaat voor de Media. Daarvoor werkte zij als postdoc bij het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden op het VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agenda-setting’. Ze promoveerde in 2012 bij de Amsterdam School of Communication Research van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Lotte Melenhorst
Lotte Melenhorst is promovenda bij de Instituten voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden en de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Haar onderzoek maakt deel uit van het VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agenda-setting’ en concentreert zich op de rol van de media bij de totstandkoming van wetgeving.

Luzia Helfer
Luzia Helfer is promovenda bij de Instituten voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden en de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). In haar onderzoek bij het VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agendasetting’ bestudeert zij mechanismes in de wederkerige relatie tussen politiek en media, onder andere door middel van experimenteel onderzoek.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst (1974) is verbonden aan het Instituut Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Leiden. Zijn onderwijs en onderzoek situeert zich in het domein van de politieke communicatie en de politieke psychologie.

    In discussing the results of the Belgian local elections of 8 October 2006 the media devoted most attention to Antwerp. Not only because it is Flanders biggest city, but especially because of the remarkable result of mayor Patrick Janssens and his socialist party (Sp.a-Spirit). They won over 35% of the votes and became the biggest party of the city, a position that was taken by the extreme right party for more than ten years. In this article we tried to map and explain the so called ‘Janssens-effect’. By analysing the election results and the data of an (inter-university) Internet panel we managed to prove that Patrick Janssens had a large share in the victory of his party. A lot of citizens of Antwerp that normally would not vote for the socialist party supported Janssens. To explain this personal success we suggested four plausible motives: the perceived qualities of Janssens as a mayor; his presidential campaign; the attention of and performance in the media; and finally the statement against extreme right. Our panel data suggest that a combination of these motives can explain the Janssens-effect. The appreciation for Janssens as a very capable mayor was present among the electorate long before the campaign started. This appreciation became the basis for his electoral success. The fact that many voters decided to switch to Janssens in the months and weeks before the election is related to his campaign and the media-attention it generated. The media strengthened the image of Antwerp as a polarised city. Especially the voters that changed their vote intention during the campaign were convinced that supporting Janssens was the most explicit signal against the extreme right image of their city.


Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is postdoctoraal assistent politieke wetenschappen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep ‘Media, Middenveld en Politiek’ (M2P) aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij doctoreerde over de rol van de media tijdens de verkiezingscampagne van 2003 en publiceerde eerder in diverse tijdschriften over protestgedrag, nieuwe media, en agenda-setting.

Michiel Nuytemans
Michiel Nuytemans is onderzoeker aan het departement Politieke Wetenschappen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep ‘Media, Middenveld en Politiek’ (M2P) aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij doet onderzoek naar agendasetting, verkiezingen en de relatie tussen media en politiek.
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