1st Edition

Public Policy and the Mass Media The Interplay of Mass Communication and Political Decision Making

Edited By Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten, Katrin Voltmer Copyright 2010
    256 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The mass media are playing an increasingly central role in modern political life that expands beyond their traditional function as mediators between the world of politics and the citizens.

    This volume explores the extent and circumstances under which the media affects public policy; whether the political impact of the media is confined to the public representation of politics or whether their influence goes further to also affect the substance of political decisions. It provides an in-depth understanding of the conditions under which the media might, or might not, play a role in the policy process and what the nature of their influence is.

    Bringing together conceptual and methodological approaches from both political science and communications studies, this book presents an interdisciplinary perspective. It presents empirical evidence of the processes involved in the interaction between mass communication and policy and features case studies from Western Europe and the US and across different policy fields.

    The book will be of interest to students of public policy, political communication and comparative politics.

    1. Introduction: Mass Media and Public Policy – Is There a Link? - Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten and Katrin Voltmer  Part I: Policy Issues, Agendas And The Media  2. Public Policy and The Mass Media: An Information Processing Approach - Bryan D. Jones and Michelle Wolfe  3. Do the Media Shape Parties’ Agenda Preferences? An Empirical Study of Party Manifestoes in Belgium (1987-2003) - Stefaan Walgrave And Jonas Lefevere  4. Closing the Circle: A Case Study in the Role of Spin in the Policy Cycle - Neil Gavin  5. Knowledge Culture and Power: Biotechnology and the Popular Press - Pieter Maeseele and Dimitri Schuurrman  6. Aid Organizations, Governments and the Media: The Critical Role of Journalists in Signaling Authority Recognition - Matthias Ecker-Ehrhardt  Part II: Policy Institutions, Constellations of Actors and the Media  7. The Media and the Policy Process: A Policy Centric Approach - Robin Brown  8. Contested Processes, Contested Influence: A Case Study of Genetically Modified Food In Britain - Anita Howarth  9. Going Public? (Re)Presentation Of Women’s Policy in the Media - Birgit Sauer  10. Public Pushing for Pension Reform? The Short-Term Impact of Media Coverage on Long-Term Policy Making in Germany, Britain and the United States - Christoph Strünck  11. Condemned to Repeat: The Media and the Accountability Gap in Iraq War Policy - Robert M. Entman, Steven Livingston and Sean Aday  12. Conclusion: The Interplay of Mass Communication and Political Decision Making - Policy Matters! - Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten and Katrin Voltmer 


    Sigrid Koch-Baumgarten is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science, Philipps University Marburg, Germany. Her research focuses on German and international industrial relations and its actors; new forms of governance in the national and international arena; and the role of the media in ‘media democracy’. Katrin Voltmer is Senior Lecturer of Political Communication at the Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds, UK. Her research interests include media influences on public opinion and the policy process, the relationship between journalists and their news sources, and the role of the media in democratic transitions. She is the editor of The Mass Media and Political Communication in New Democracies (also published by Routledge).

    'The book raises important questions for future research agenda and contributes with perspectives for empirical research. It is also an interesting initital literature on current issues and debates in the realm of political communication.' - Enikö Soujon and Bianca Vaz Mondo, Policy Advice and Political Consulting, Vol. 4, 2011