Party media agenda-setting: How parties influence election news coverage

David N. Hopmann, Christian Elmelund-Præstekær, Erik Albæk, Rens Vliegenthart, Claes H. de Vreese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


Political parties have substantial influence on which issues the news media cover during election campaigns, while the media have limited influence on party agendas. However, we know little about why some parties are more successful than others in passing the media's gates and being covered on sponsored issues. On the basis of content analyses of election news coverage (812 news stories) and press releases published by political parties (N = 334) during the 2007 national election campaign in Denmark, we analyse which parties were successful in appearing in the news on issues on which they published press releases. Using Sartori's notion of relevant parties, we conclude that the more relevant parties have more success, that there is a positive spillover effect from other parties' press releases, but also a negative interaction effect between a party's own and other parties' press releases. The results are discussed with respect to their generalizability and arising challenges for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-191
Number of pages19
JournalParty Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • agenda-building
  • agenda-setting
  • content analysis
  • election campaigns
  • news coverage


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