Advertisement

The Media Independency of Political Elites

  • Stefaan Walgrave
  • Julie Sevenans
  • Alon Zoizner
  • Matthew Ayling
Chapter

Abstract

We employ a novel design to explore to what extent the media are significant information suppliers for politicians. In three countries—Belgium, Canada, and Israel—we surveyed national political elites and asked them about the main, actual media stories published in the weeks preceding the interview. Elites were asked whether they knew about the underlying news fact before it appeared in the news media and what share of all they knew about the underlying facts originated from news media coverage. Their answers seem to suggest that their media dependency is quite strong. Most importantly, story features and characteristics of individual politicians interactively determine to what extent a politician is dependent on the media for information about current affairs.

References

  1. Ball-Rokeach, S. J. (1985). The origins of individual media-system dependency: A sociological framework. Communication Research, 12(4), 485–510. doi: 10.1177/009365085012004003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ball-Rokeach, S. J., & DeFleur, M. L. (1976). A dependency model of mass-media effects. Communication Research, 1, 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baran, S. J., & Davis, D. K. (2012). Mass communication theory: Foundations, ferment, and future (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  4. Dulleck, U., & Wigger, B. U. (2015). Politicians as experts, electoral control, and fiscal restraints. Journal of Public Economics, 121, 106–116. doi: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.11.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kingdon, J. W. (1973). Congressmen’s voting decisions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  6. Miller, W. E., & Stokes, D. (1963). Constituency influence in congress. American Political Science Review, 57, 165–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Sevenans, J., Walgrave, S., Epping, L., & Vos, D. (2016). How do political elites process information from the news? The cognitive mechanisms behind behavioral political agenda-setting effects. Political Communication, 33(4), 605–627. Google Scholar
  8. Simon, H. (1985). Human nature in politics: The dialogue of psychology with political science. The American Political Science Review, 79(2), 293–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Stimson, J. A., Mackuen, M. B., & Erikson, R. S. (1995). Dynamic representation. The American Political Science Review, 89(3), 543. doi: 10.2307/2082973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Van Aelst, P., & Walgrave, S. (2016). Information and arena. The dual function of the news media for political elites. Journal of Communication, 66(3), 496–518.Google Scholar
  11. Walgrave, S., & Dejaeghere, Y. (2016). Surviving information overload. How elite politicians select information. Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration, 30(2), 229–244.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefaan Walgrave
    • 1
  • Julie Sevenans
    • 1
  • Alon Zoizner
    • 2
  • Matthew Ayling
    • 3
  1. 1.University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations