Understanding media attention paid to negotiations on EU legislative acts: A cross-national study of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands

Rik De Ruiter*, Rens Vliegenthart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies of the news coverage of European Union (EU) affairs have not yet paid much attention to coverage of the negotiations leading to EU legislative acts. This article investigates the factors that influence the attention national newspapers devote to these acts. We hypothesize that the decisions made by journalists and editors to pay attention to EU-level negotiations on legislative acts through newspaper articles is dependent on how the EU-level negotiations proceed and the characteristics of the legislative proposal. The hypotheses are tested with a new dataset on newspaper coverage in the Netherlands and the UK with regard to 295 directives. The results indicate that media coverage increases when journalists need to invest only a minimal amount of resources to understand the substance of new legislation or the negotiation process leading to the adoption of EU legislation. These findings are discussed in light of the debate on the European public sphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-668
Number of pages20
JournalComparative European Politics
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • European Union
  • legislative politics
  • Media
  • public sphere
  • the Netherlands
  • United Kingdom

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