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Politicians in the Media: Determinants of Legislators' Presence and Prominence in Swiss Newspapers

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Published in The International Journal of Press/Politics. 2009, vol. 14, no. 1, p. 67-90
Abstract In times of increasing “mediatization” of politics, when voters and their elected representatives primarily communicate through the media, the question of who gets into the news and why becomes of the utmost importance. This article examines the determinants of Swiss legislators' presence and prominence in the print media by focusing on three competing approaches drawn from communication studies. The first approach regards the media as a “mirror” of political reality and argues that the media focus on the most active deputies in parliament. Second, news values theory predicts that “authoritative” politicians in leadership positions get the most media coverage. Third, theories of “news bias” hold that the media privilege legislators who are in line with their own editorial interests. Overall, the statistical analyses show an important leadership effect and provide strong support for the second explanation. While deputies in official functions get the most extensive news coverage, media access can also be won by parliamentary activity. The least support is shown for the news bias theory, although some newspapers try to localize parliamentary news coverage by focusing on deputies from their own media market.
Keywords News coverageSelection logicPrint mediaContent analysisParliamentSwitzerland
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TRESCH, Anke Daniela. Politicians in the Media: Determinants of Legislators' Presence and Prominence in Swiss Newspapers. In: The International Journal of Press/Politics, 2009, vol. 14, n° 1, p. 67-90. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:17217

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Deposited on : 2011-10-18

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