Debate about the quantity of political information often tends to evaluate television negatively since it became a widely used mass medium. Systematic data on the supply and proportion of political information on television, however, are scarce. This research fills this gap by presenting a longitudinal analysis of broadcast time for political information. The authors examine specifically how time spent on the broad categories of information, infotainment and entertainment on television in the Netherlands has evolved from 1957 to 2006. Results show that over time both public and commercial broadcasters have dedicated more time to information programming, but these programmes have moved out of prime time, especially on commercial channels. Overall, time spent on entertainment has gone down, contrary to expectations, while time for infotainment programmes has gone up, in concordance with existing beliefs.
- political communication
- public service broadcasting