Mediatization of Politics: Theory and Data


  • Hans Mathias Kepplinger

    1. Hans Mathias Kepplinger is a professor in the Institute for Communication Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.
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This article reports causes and consequences of the mediatization of politics about activities of the German parliament (Der Bundestag) and coverage of German politics in three national newspapers during 1951–1995. During this period, the number of decision-making activities remained fairly constant, the number of information activities significantly increased, and coverage of German politics changed: Although the number of reports triggered by events and issues remained fairly constant, the number of stories triggered by statements (about events or issues) significantly increased and those triggered by statements made by politicians increasingly overshadowed articles triggered by nonpoliticians. Declarations of actions and demands for action, in particular, seemed to trigger articles, which indicates a growing importance of symbolic politics and has implications for citizens' relations to decision makers.