How Political Actors Use the Media

A Functional Analysis of the Media’s Role in Politics

  • Peter Van Aelst
  • Stefaan Walgrave

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Conceptualizing Media Influence in Politics

  3. The Media as a Source of Information

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 105-105
    2. Stefaan Walgrave, Julie Sevenans, Alon Zoizner, Matthew Ayling
      Pages 127-145
  4. The Media as a Political Arena

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Caroline Dalmus, Regula Hänggli, Laurent Bernhard
      Pages 187-205
    3. Christoffer Green-Pedersen, Peter B. Mortensen, Gunnar Thesen
      Pages 207-223
  5. Combining Information and Arena

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 281-282

About this book


This book investigates how individual politicians and political parties political actors strategically make use of the media to reach their political goals. Looking beyond a purely Americentric viewpoint, the chapters present data from more than ten Western democracies to argue that the media are both a source of information and an arena for political communication. This double functional role of the media is examined from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective, including chapters dealing with different aspects of politics - from campaigning to law making - and within different political contexts. The role of the news media is discussed from the perspective of the political actor, focusing on both the opportunities and the constraints the news media provide, resulting in a multidisciplinary text that will appeal to students and scholars of both communication and political science.  


politicians political parties campaigning lawmaking Western democracies

Editors and affiliations

  • Peter Van Aelst
    • 1
  • Stefaan Walgrave
    • 2
  1. 1.Universiteit AntwerpenAntwerpenBelgium
  2. 2.Universiteit AntwerpenAntwerpenBelgium

Bibliographic information