The mediatization of political accountability: Politics, the news media logic and industrial crises in the 1980s and 2000s

Monika Anna Lena Djerf-Pierre, Mats Ekstrom, Nicklas Hakansson, Bengt Johansson

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates how political accountability, as a key democratic principle, is performed in the media and how the practices and representations of accountability are transformed over time by the influences of mediatization. The implications of mediatization are analyzed with a focus on how aspects of media dramaturgy and independent journalism influence news reporting of
political responsibility and how politicians are held to account in the media. The effects of mediatization are understood as conditioned by other structural changes in political life, in particular depoliticization. The empirical study is designed as a comparison of news reports on two national industrial crises in 1980–1982 and 2008–2011, and is based on content analyses of
daily morning newspapers, evening tabloids, and regional and local newspapers. The study provides evidence for a non-linear understanding of mediatization. Significant aspects of media dramaturgy are shown to be rather stable between the two time periods whilst the journalistic independence and interpretations increase as expected. The hypothesis of depoliticization receives some support although the results are not unambiguous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321 - 338
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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