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Determinants of organizational mediatization: an analysis of the adaptation of Swedish government agencies to news media

Journal article
Authors Magnus Fredriksson
Thomas Schillemans
Josef Pallas
Published in Public Administration
Volume 93
Issue 4
Pages 1049-1067
ISSN 0033-3298
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 1049-1067
Language en
Keywords Government agencies, mediatization, Sweden
Subject categories Public Administration Studies, Media and Communications


This article seeks to explain why the media affect some governmental agencies more than others. We develop a measuring instrument for the mediatization of agencies; gauging how they adapt to the media. We analyse the effects of six potential explanations of mediatization: media pressure, organizational size and task, salience, geographic location, and management structure. The analysis is based on a comprehensive quantitative contents analysis of policy documents from all governmental agencies in Sweden. The results show that agencies' propensity to adapt to the media is mainly determined by their management structure rather than, as could have been expected, by media pressure. Organizations managed by career managers invest more in media management than those led by field-professionals. Our results suggest that agencies have substantial agency in terms of how they cope with the media and that mediatization refers to much more than passive adaptation by organizations.

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