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Mediatization of Campaign Coverage: Metacoverage of US Elections

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Mediatization of Politics

Abstract

If mediatization, like globalization and modernization, is a meta-process of societal change (Krotz, 2008) whereby “the media have become integrated into the operations of other social institutions [and] acquired the status of social institutions in their own right” (Hjarvard, 2008, p. 113), then, arguably, this is nowhere more evident than in contemporary election campaigns. In most Western democracies, there are reciprocal dependencies — mutual need but different goals — between media organizations and the political parties and campaign organizations that vie for votes during elections (Gurevitch & Blumler, 1990). To be sure, the nature of these interdependencies is shaped by structural and cultural features of the media and political institutions within a country (Blumler & Gurevitch, 2001; see Strömbäck & Esser, 2009, pp. 217–218 for a useful summary). However, on the whole, mediatization theorists and researchers are interested in the processes and mechanisms through which these interdependencies typically tilt over time towards the media (Strömbäck, 2008). News organizations lie at the center of interest in work on the mediatization of politics (Esser, 2013). Accordingly, in election settings, the concern is with how the media logic of commercial imperatives, professional routines and message formats not only comes to dominate the content of campaign news, but also how it gets integrated into the political logic of political rules, organizational structures and routines, and self-presentational strategies that political parties and campaign organizations must follow in order to campaign effectively (Strömbäck, 2008; Strömbäck & Esser, 2009).

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© 2014 Paul D’Angelo, Florin Büchel and Frank Esser

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D’Angelo, P., Büchel, F., Esser, F. (2014). Mediatization of Campaign Coverage: Metacoverage of US Elections. In: Esser, F., Strömbäck, J. (eds) Mediatization of Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137275844_9

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