Consequences of Politicians’ Perceptions of the News Media

Author(s)
Jörg Matthes, Peter Maurer, Florian Arendt
Abstract

There is limited knowledge about why political actors are dissatisfied with journalism. This article attempts to answer this question by pointing to individual-level perceptual processes of politicians. We argue that part of politicians’ unease with the media can be explained by the hostile media phenomenon (HMP). Originally developed in audience research, the HMP refers to a process by which highly involved individuals tend to perceive media coverage as biased against their own views. Based on a survey of politicians in three European countries, we demonstrate that the HMP also holds for political actors. More importantly, we show that the HMP makes politicians less likely to contact journalists and more likely to use conflict and drama to gain public attention. Finally, the HMP decreases politicians’ trust in democracy by fostering the belief that the public is not adequately informed about political matters. Theoretical and societal consequences are discussed.

Organisation(s)
Department of Communication
External organisation(s)
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) , Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Journal
Journalism Studies
Volume
20
Pages
345-363
ISSN
1461-670X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2017.1377102
Publication date
10-2017
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508008 Media analysis
Keywords
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Communication
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/consequences-of-politicians-perceptions-of-the-news-media(4e5fa6da-86e9-4665-b114-e6ddaaf79705).html