News on the move: exogenous events and news coverage of the European Union

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Series Details Vol.17, No.4, June 2010, p506-526
Publication Date June 2010
ISSN 1350-1763
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News coverage about the European Union (EU) has the potential to inform citizens about and to involve them in matters of European integration. Investigations of factors that explain variation in EU news coverage, however, are rare. This study explains weekly variation in the visibility of EU news in newspapers from seven EU member states for the period 1990 to 2006. It identifies exogenous factors that relate to the EU polity, its policies and national politics. The descriptive results show that EU news visibility has increased overall and that weekly variation is rather similar in the seven member states. News visibility is substantially influenced by infrequent polity-related events such as European Parliamentary (EP) elections or Council summits but also by EP sessions. Also policy-related and national events affect visibility. The findings are discussed in light of the democratic deficit of the EU and the potential consequences of visible EU news coverage.

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