Does European Union politics become mediatized? The case of the European Commission

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Series Details Volume 16, Number 7, Pages 1047-1069
Publication Date October 2009
ISSN 1350-1763
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The article argues that a systematic study of mediatization processes promises valuable insights into problems of European Union (EU) governance. It sets out the mediatization argument and explores to what extent the political system and its major components can be expected to adjust to the logics of the news media.

The empirical focus is on the adjustments of the European Commission to six distinct logics of the news media: news values, agenda-setting, news production, news language, investigative/accusatory journalism, and the reciprocal effects of professionalization. The paper finds preliminary evidence of mostly low to moderate mediatization across these six dimensions. Four main moderating factors account for this finding: political disincentives to strive for mass publicity, difficulties of communicating to fragmented audiences, limited scope for legislative initiatives, and the technocratic drawn-out nature of the EU policy process.

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