Advertisement

An Intervening Intermediary: Making Political Sense of Media Influence

  • Gunnar Thesen
Chapter

Abstract

This theoretical chapter puts political actors’ news use into a broader political science context. Despite increasing acknowledgement of the media as a political institution and actor, media influence on politics should be distinguished from other types of influence typically studied by political scientists. Media influence is not about what the media “gets”, but rather about how news intervene in the political processes that determine the distribution of power between other political actors and institutions. We call this the second layer of media’s political influence, and argue that studies of media and politics should to a larger extent use theories about the strategies and motives of political actors as a starting point in order to contribute to the explanation of who gets what, when, and how.

References

  1. Asp, K. (2007). Fairness, informativeness and scrutiny: The role of news media in democracy. Nordicom Review, 28‚ 31–49.Google Scholar
  2. Baumgartner, F. R., & Jones, B. D. (1993). Agendas and instability in American politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cater, D. (1959). The fourth branch of government. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  4. Cobb, R. W., & Elder, C. D. (1972). Participation in American politics: The dynamics of agenda building. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  5. Cook, Timothy E. (2005). Governing with the news. The news media as a political institution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dearing, J. W., & Rogers, E. M. (1996). Communication concepts 6: Agenda-setting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  7. De Bruycker, I., & Beyers, J. (2015). Balanced or biased? Interest groups and legislative lobbying in the European news media. Political Communication, 32(3), 453–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dowding, K. (1996). Power. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  9. Druckman, J. N., & Parkin, M. (2005). The impact of media bias: How editorial slant affects voters. Journal of Politics, 67(4), 1030–1049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Easton, D. (1965). A framework for political analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  11. Esser, F., & Strömbäck, J. (Eds.). (2014). Mediatization of politics: Understanding the transformation of Western democracies. Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Green-Pedersen, C., & Stubager, R. (2010). The political conditionality of mass media influence: When do parties follow mass media attention? British Journal of Political Science, 40(03), 663–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Habermas, J. (2006). Political communication in media society: Does democracy still enjoy an epistemic dimension? The impact of normative theory on empirical research. Communication Theory, 16, 411–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jarren, O., & Donges, P. (2006). Politische Kommunikation in der Mediengesellschaft. Eine Einführung (2nd ed.). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.Google Scholar
  15. Kingdon, J. W. (2003). Agendas, alternatives and public policies. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  16. Lasswell, H. (1936). Politics: Who gets what, when, how. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  17. Linsky, M. (Ed.). (1986). How the press affects federal policymaking: Six case studies. Norton.Google Scholar
  18. Meyer, Thomas. (2002). Media democracy: How the media colonize politics. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  19. Newton, K. (2006). May the weak forces be with you: The power of the mass media in modern politics. European Journal of Political Research, 45(2), 209–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nørgaard, A. S., & Klemmensen, R. (2009). Hvorfor stemmer oppositionen for regeringens lovforslag? Korporatisme og parlamentariske forlig, 1953–1999 []. Politica, 41, 68–91.Google Scholar
  21. Page, B. I. (1996). The mass media as political actors. PS: Political Science & Politics, 29(01), 20–24.Google Scholar
  22. Petersson, O. (1994). Journalistene som klass, Journalismen som ideologi. Media og samfunnsstyring. Edvardsen and T. Steen. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget.Google Scholar
  23. Robert‚ A. Dahl. (1957). The concept of power. Behavioral Science‚ 2(3):201–215.Google Scholar
  24. Rommetvedt, H., Thesen, G., Christiansen, P. M., & Nørgaard, A. S. (2013). Coping with corporatism in decline and the revival of parliament: Interest group lobbyism in Denmark and Norway, 1980–2005. Comparative Political Studies, 46(4), 457–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schattschneider, E. E. (1960). The semi-sovereign people. New York: Holt.Google Scholar
  26. Schmitter, P. C. (2010). Micro-foundations for the science(s) of politics. Scandinavian Political Studies, 33, 316–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schudson, M. (2002). The news media as political institutions. Annual Review of Political Science, 5(1), 249–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Seeberg, H. B. (2013). The opposition’s influence on policy through issue politicization. Journal of Public Policy, 33(1), 89–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sevenans, J. (2017). One concept, many interpretations. The media’s causal roles in political agenda-setting processes. European Political Science Review, 1–21. doi:  10.1017/S1755773917000078.
  30. Shah, D. V., Watts, M. D., Domke, D., & Fan, D. P. (2002). News framing and cueing of issue regimes: Explaining Clinton’s public approval in spite of scandal. Public Opinion Quarterly, 66(3), 339–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sparrow, B. H. (1999). Uncertain guardians: The news media as a political institution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Strömbäck, J. (2008). Four phases of mediatization: An analysis of the mediatization of politics. International Journal of Press Politics, 13(3), 228–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Strömbäck, J., & Esser, F. (2009). Shaping politics: Mediatization and media interventionism.Google Scholar
  34. Thesen, G. (2013). When good news is scarce and bad news is good: Government responsibilities and opposition possibilities in political agenda-setting. European Journal of Political Research, 52(3), 364–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Thesen, G. (2015). Win some, lose none? Support parties at the polls and in political agenda-setting. Political Studies, 64, 1467–9248.Google Scholar
  36. Thesen, G., Green-Pedersen, C., & Mortensen, P. (2016). Priming, issue ownership, and party support: The electoral gains of an issue-friendly media agenda. Political Communication. doi: 10.1080/10584609.2016.1233920.
  37. Van Aelst, P., & Walgrave, S. (2011). Minimal or massive? The political agenda setting power of the mass media according to different methods. International Journal of Press Politics, 16(3), 295–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vliegenthart, R., & Walgrave, S. (2011). When the media matter for politics: Partisan moderators of mass media influence on parliament in Belgium, 1993–2000. Party Politics, 17(3), 321–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Walgrave, S., & De Swert, K. (2004). The making of the (issues of the) Vlaams Blok. Political Communication, 21(4), 479–500.Google Scholar
  40. Walgrave, S., & Van Aelst, P. (2006). The contingency of the mass media’s political agenda-setting power. Towards a preliminary theory. Journal of Communication, 56(1), 88–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Watts, M. D., Domke, D., Shah, D. V., & Fan, D. P. (1999). Elite cues and media bias in presidential campaigns explaining public perceptions of a liberal press. Communication Research, 26(2), 144–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wolfsfeld, G., & Cohen, A. (1993). Framing the Intifada: People and media. Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing.Google Scholar
  43. Wolfsfeld, G., & Sheafer, T. (2006). Competing actors and the construction of political news: The contest over waves in Israel. Political Communication, 23, 333–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunnar Thesen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of StavangerStavangerNorway

Personalised recommendations