How Political Actors Use the Media: A Functional Analysis of the Media’s Role in Politics

Peter Van Aelst, Stefaan Walgrave
Springer, 4 oct. 2017 - 282 pages
This book investigates how individual politicians and political parties strategically make use of the media to reach their political goals. Looking beyond a purely Americentric viewpoint, the chapters present data from more than ten Western democracies to argue that the media are both a source of information and an arena for political communication. This double functional role of the media is examined from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective, including chapters dealing with different aspects of politics - from campaigning to law making - and within different political contexts. The role of the news media is discussed from the perspective of the political actor, focusing on both the opportunities and the constraints the news media provide, resulting in a multidisciplinary text that will appeal to students and scholars of both communication and political science.

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Table des matières

The Dual Function of the News Media for Political Elites
Part I Conceptualizing Media Influence in Politics
Making Political Sense of Media Influence
Chapter 3 Celebrities as Political Actors and Entertainment as Political Media
The Strategies of News Management
Chapter 5 Too Powerful or Just Doing Their Job? Explaining Differences in Conceptions of Media Power Among Politicians and Journalists
Part II The Media as a Source of Information
Evidence from Elite Interviews
Part III The Media as a Political Arena
Media Uses and Influences Across Three Arenas
Chapter 10 The Charm of Salient Issues? Parties Strategic Behavior in Press Releases
When and Why Do Government Actors Appear in the News?
Part IV Combining Information and Arena
Chapter 12 Why Do Politicians Use the Media When Making Laws? A Study On the Functional Use of Mass Media During Legislative Processes
How Actors from Inside and Outside Politics Use the Media
Chapter 14 Elaborating and Specifying the Information Arena Framework

Chapter 7 The Media Independency of Political Elites
How the Attitudes and Goals of Political Elites Moderate the Effect of the Media on the Political Agenda

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À propos de l'auteur (2017)

Peter Van Aelst and Stefaan Walgrave are professors in political science at the University of Antwerp, Belgium and leading members of the research group ‘Media, Movements and Politics’( They have published widely on the relationship between media an d politics and the agenda-setting role of the media.

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