Production Assets, News Opportunities, and Publicity for Legislators: A Study of Israeli Knesset Members

Authors

  • TAMIR SHEAFER,

    1. Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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    • Tamir Sheafer is a Lecturer in the Departments of Communication and Political Science, and Gadi Wolfsfeld is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Communication and Political Science, both at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, 91905 Israel.

  • GADI WOLFSFELD

    1. Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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    • Tamir Sheafer is a Lecturer in the Departments of Communication and Political Science, and Gadi Wolfsfeld is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Communication and Political Science, both at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, 91905 Israel.


Abstract

This study proposes a number of theoretical and methodological innovations in an attempt to better understand how legislators compete for media coverage. We make a distinction between those variables that determine the potential newsworthiness of a legislature (production assets) and those that are related to the political and media environment in which the legislators operate (news opportunities). We then put forth five hypotheses and test them by examining the political standing, charismatic communication skills, and radio exposure of 54 members of the Israeli Knesset. The results confirm that political standing and charismatic communication skills are important predictors of media exposure and that the relative importance of these factors changes during different political seasons.

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