News coverage and support for European integration, 1990-2006

Rens Vliegenthart*, Andreas R.T. Schuck, Hajo G. Boomgaarden, Claes H. De Vreese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Citizens depend on information from the mass media when forming their opinion about political issues. Studies have shown that news media coverage of the EU can affect general and policy-specific support for European integration. Extant research has focused on individual-level analyses at specific points in time. The present study considers whether the visibility and the framing of EU news coverage conceptualized as contextual factors influence EU support at an aggregate level. We look at this question in seven EU member states for the period 1990-2006. By utilizing aggregated data of the content analytical indicators and aggregate public support measures in a time-series design, we relate variation in news content to subsequent public opinion dynamics. Our results suggest that both the framing of EU news in terms of benefit and conflict matters for public support. While benefit framing increases public support, conflict framing decreases support. We conclude with a discussion of the use of news content as a contextual variable in explaining the public opinion dynamics and potential benefits of this approach for future media effects research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-416
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal of Public Opinion Research
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

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