Title
Again, the almighty mass media? The media's political agenda-setting power according to politicians and journalists in Belgium Again, the almighty mass media? The media's political agenda-setting power according to politicians and journalists in Belgium
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Politics
Source (journal)
Political communication. - London, 1992, currens
Volume/pages
25(2008) :4 , p. 445-459
ISSN
1058-4609
1091-7675
ISI
000261190400006
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The unsolved question of whether the media affect political agendas is tackled with an innovative research method: a survey among politicians and journalists in Belgium. This article shows that this new approach can complement existing knowledge and yield new insights. Results largely support the contention that media matter for politics; politicians and journalists state that the media are important agenda setters, even compared to more established political actors such as political parties and interest groups. Though not all issues are equally conducive to media agenda-setting, media always seem to matter to some extent. Some politicians more than others evaluate the media's agenda impact to be high. The actual parliamentary action of some MPs is affected more by prior mass media coverage than others. I account for these differences and show that it is mainly their political role (government or opposition), the negativity of their evaluation of media power, and their perception of the impact of public opinion on politics that determine politicians' perceptions and behavior regarding political agenda-setting.
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