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The (Partisan) Role of the Press in Direct Democratic Campaigns: Evidence from a Swiss Vote on European Integration

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Published in Swiss Political Science Review. 2012, vol. 18, no. 3, p. 287-304
Abstract This article analyzes the role of the press in direct democratic campaigns. The paper argues the press has a dual role: On news pages, newspapers ought to inform citizens about the issue positions and frames of the pro and con camps in a balanced way. In editorials, newspapers act as political advocates that promote their own issue frames and try to shape public opinion through voting recommendations. Comparing the issue positions and frames in editorials and news reports in the run-up to the vote on the popular initiative ‘‘Yes to Europe’’ in Switzerland, this article shows that newspapers give similar visibility to the pro and con camps regardless of the papers’ own editorial position. However, some newspapers favor issue frames that are in line with their editorial perspectives. In conclusion, newspapers are more similar in news report content than in editorial views.
Keywords Media coverageEditorial SlantFramingDirect DemocracySwitzerland
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TRESCH, Anke Daniela. The (Partisan) Role of the Press in Direct Democratic Campaigns: Evidence from a Swiss Vote on European Integration. In: Swiss Political Science Review, 2012, vol. 18, n° 3, p. 287-304. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:22606

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Deposited on : 2012-08-23

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