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The Mediatization of Political Accountability - Politics, the news media logic and industrial crises in the 1980s and 2000s

Journal article
Authors Monika Djerf-Pierre
Mats Ekström
Nicklas Håkansson
Bengt Johansson
Published in Journalism Studies
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 321-338
ISSN 1461-670X
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 321-338
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2014.88...
Subject categories Media and Communications

Abstract

This study investigates how political accountability, as a key democratic principle, is performed in the media and how the practices and representations of accountability are transformed over time by the influences of mediatization. The implications of mediatization are analyzed with a focus on how aspects of media dramaturgy and independent journalism influence news reporting of political responsibility and how politicians are held to account in the media. The effects of mediatization are understood as conditioned by other structural changes in political life, in particular depoliticization. The empirical study is designed as a comparison of news reports on two national industrial crises in 1980–1982 and 2008–2011, and is based on content analyses of daily morning newspapers, evening tabloids, and regional and local newspapers. The study provides evidence for a non-linear understanding of mediatization. Significant aspects of media dramaturgy are shown to be rather stable between the two time periods whilst the journalistic independence and interpretations increase as expected. The hypothesis of depoliticization receives some support although the results are not unambiguous.

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