Why Do Politicians Use the Media When Making Laws? A Study On the Functional Use of Mass Media During Legislative Processes

  • Lotte Melenhorst
  • Peter Van Aelst


Previous work on media and politics pays little attention to why politicians use the media in their work. This chapter addresses this topic in the context of lawmaking, a fundamental policy making process. The starting point of is the information and arena model: we study whether mass media are a source of information as well as an arena for political communication to Members of Parliament when they are considering bills. The analysis is based on in-depth interviews with legislators in the Netherlands, in the context of three case studies. We find that some politicians use the mass media as a source of information in the context of lawmaking, but that the media is not very frequently used as an arena for political communication.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lotte Melenhorst
    • 1
  • Peter Van Aelst
    • 2
  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenNetherlands
  2. 2.University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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