The Media Independency of Political Elites
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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.
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