Communicating political positions on European issues – a comparison of parties and newspapers in seven countriesi

Leidecker-Sandmann, Melanie; Eugster, Beatrice (2020). Communicating political positions on European issues – a comparison of parties and newspapers in seven countriesi. Political Studies Review, p. 147892992095200. Wiley 10.1177/1478929920952001

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This article starts from the observation that most voters know relatively little about positions and plans of political parties, especially when European Union politics is concerned. One reason for this could be that the main sources for political information, party communication and mass media coverage, provide voters only little concrete information about positions and plans of political parties. We ask how concretely, respectively vaguely, political parties and mass media communicate political positions prior to the 2014 European Parliament elections. We conducted a quantitative content analysis of all European Union–related press releases from 46 national political parties and of all European Union–related articles of 14 national quality newspapers from 7 European countries 12 weeks before the 2014 European Parliament elections. Our analysis shows that press releases as well as media coverage contain more concrete political positions on European Union issues than vague political statements. Other than expected, newspaper coverage provided the public with less concrete information than political actors did. Nevertheless, countries vary with regard to the extent to which party communication or newspaper coverage contain vague statements. We cannot find empirical support that the communication of concrete political positions depends on a party’s “extremity” of issue position or on the type of issue.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Mass Communication Studies

UniBE Contributor:

Eugster, Beatrice

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

1478-9299

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Beatrice Eugster

Date Deposited:

03 Nov 2020 10:55

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2020 01:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/1478929920952001

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.147157

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/147157

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