Partisan bias in message selection: media gatekeeping of party press releases

Author(s)
Martin Haselmayer, Markus Wagner, Thomas Meyer
Abstract

Parties try to shape media coverage in ways that are favorable to them, but what determines whether media outlets pick up and report on party messages? Based on content analyses of 1,496 party press releases and 6,512 media reports from the 2013 Austrian parliamentary election campaign, we show that media coverage of individual party messages is influenced not just by news factors, but also by partisan bias. The media are therefore more likely to report on messages from parties their readers favor. Importantly, this effect is greater rather than weaker when these messages have high news value. These findings have important implications for understanding the media’s role in elections and representative democracies in general.

Organisation(s)
Department of Government
Journal
Political Communication
Volume
34
Pages
367-384
ISSN
1058-4609
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2016.1265619
Publication date
2017
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
506014 Comparative politics, 508007 Communication science
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/partisan-bias-in-message-selection-media-gatekeeping-of-party-press-releases(7e47ba3e-c9d7-4647-8c44-a2944e6d5650).html