1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Political Journalism

Edited By James Morrison, Jen Birks, Mike Berry Copyright 2022
    470 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This international edited collection brings together the latest research in political journalism, examining the ideological, commercial and technological forces that are transforming the field and its evolving relationship with news audiences.

    Comprising 40 original chapters written by scholars from around the world, The Routledge Companion to Political Journalism offers fundamental insights from the disciplines of political science, media, communications  and journalism. Drawing on interviews, discourse analysis and quantitative statistical methods, the volume is divided into six parts, each focusing on a major theme in the contemporary study of political journalism. Topics covered include far-right media, populism movements and the media, local political journalism practices, public engagement and audience participation in political journalism, agenda setting, and advocacy and activism in journalism. Chapters draw on case studies from the United Kingdom, Hungary, Russia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Italy, Brazil, the United States, Greece and Spain.

    The Routledge Companion to Political Journalism is a valuable resource for students and scholars of media studies, journalism studies, political communication and political science.


    List of tables and figures

    List of contributors

    Introduction: the new terrain of mediated politics

    James Morrison, Jen Birks and Mike Berry

    PART I

    From ‘truth’ to ‘post-truth’ eras? The history of political journalism

    1 The origins and development of political journalism in Britain

    Brian Cathcart

    2 Partial news: election editorializing in inter-war Britain

    Dominic Wring and David Deacon

    3 Reinventing political reporting: Outsides, disruptors and innovators

    Erik Neveu

    4 Political news and the ‘celebrity frame’

    John Corner

    5 Evolving journalism norms: Objective, interpretive and fact-checking journalism

    Jen Birks


    Political journalism and media systems: Political economy and journalistic professionalism

    6 The Scottish independence referendum, political journalism and the news media landscape

    Marina Dekavalla

    7 Local political journalism: Systematic pressures on the normative functions of local news

    Julie Firmstone and Rebecca Whittington

    8 Political journalism in a hybrid media landscape: A Scandinavian policy perspective

    Sigurd Allern

    9 Hungary’s clientelistic media system

    Péter Bajomi-Lázár

    10 Political journalism in the Russian media system: Journalistic professionalization in the context of digital media

    Elena Vartanova

    11 Internet-led political journalism: Challenging hybrid regime resilience in Malaysia

    Niki Cheong

    12 Journalism in Myanmar: Freedom, Facebook and fake news

    Tina Burrett


    Pluralism, partisanship and populism in political journalism

    13 The new populisms: A key dynamic of mediated populisms

    Michael Higgins

    14 The Renewed visibility of populism: are social media the culprit?

    Delia Dumitrica

    15 Strategies of alternative right-wing media: The case of Breitbart News

    Jason Roberts and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

    16 Putin, partisanship and the press: Comparing Russian media reporting of Alexander Litvinenko and Sergei Skripal

    Tina Burrett

    17 Political journalism by other means: An African perspective

    Herman Wasserman

    18 What kind of Italy? The cultural battle waged by a European populist leader against Brussels

    Paul Rowinski

    19 Populist candidates in the age of social media: Media portrayals of Jair Bolsonaro’s presidential bid in Brazil

    Heloisa Sturm Wilkerson


    Public engagement in political journalism: Audience reception, interaction and participation

    20 ‘How can you stand there and say you didn’t overspend and end up bankrupting this country?’ Power, propaganda and public understanding of the economy

    Mike Berry

    21 The resiliency of partisan selective exposure

    Jacob L. Nelson

    22 Digital media and the proliferation of public opinion cues online: Biases and vulnerabilities in the new attention economy

    Andrew R.N. Ross,  Andrew Chadwick, and Cristian Vaccari

    23 Gate-watching and news curation

    Axel Bruns

    24 Walking the line: Political journalism and social media publicsMarcel Broersma

    24 ‘Viral journalism’, is it a thing? Adapting quality reporting to shifting social media algorithms and wavering audiences

    Anastasia Denisova

    26 Reporting on white supremacy: challenges of amplification, legitimization and mainstreaming for political journalism

    Tina Askanius and Sophie Bjork-James

    PART V

    Political agenda-setting, media effects and voting behaviour

    27 Protecting the citizen: Political journalists as gatekeepers in the digital age

    Darren G. Lilleker and Shelley Thompson

    28 Media effects on perceptions of societal problems: Belief formation in fragmented media environments

    Adam Shehata

    29 Agenda-setting theory in a networked world

    Jason A. Martin

    30 Influencing the public agenda in the social media era: Questioning the role of mainstream political journalism from the digital landscape

    Andreu Casero-Ripolles

    31 The delegitimizing potential of Internet memes in political communication: A Case study of the 2020 US election

    Andrew S. Ross

    32 Telling tales: Gender and political journalism

    Emily Harmer

    33 The Role of audiences in television leaders’ debates and political journalism

    Richard Danbury


    Political controversies: single issue politics, grassroots advocacy and campaigning in the news

    34 Journalistic work in cultures of protest: A transnational review

    Daniel H. Mutibwa

    35 Who’s punching who? Examining advocacy reporting and commercial restraints in TV satire programming

    Allaina Kilby

    36 Pluralist public sphere or elitist closed circle? Elite-driven agendas and contributor ‘chemistry’ as determinants of pundit choice on a flagship BBC politics

    James Morrison

    37 The importance of space in photojournalists’ accounts of the anti-austerity protests in Greece

    Anastasia Veneti, Paul Reilly, and Darren G. Lilleker

    38 Scotland and period poverty: A case study of activists’ media and political agenda-setting

    Fiona McKay

    39 Continental drift: Historical perspectives on the framing of ‘Europe’ in the British press

    Simon Gwyn Roberts

    40 8M and the Huelga General Feminista, 2019-2020: feminist engagement with state, capital and Spain’s ‘clase política’

    Stuart Price


    James Morrison is reader in journalism at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. A former national newspaper journalist, his research interests focus on stigmatization and othering in media and political discourse. He is the author of the monographs Familiar Strangers, Juvenile Panic and the British Press, Scroungers: Moral Panics and Media Myths and The Left Behind.

    Jen Birks is associate professor of media at the University of Nottingham, and co-convener of the Political Studies Association Media and Politics Group. Her research focuses on the role of publics and civil society in political media and communication. Her most recent monograph is Fact-checking Journalism and Political Argumentation.

    Mike Berry is senior lecturer in the Department of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University. His books include The Media, the Public and the Great Financial Crisis and (with Greg Philo) Bad News from Israel. His research primarily focuses on how media impact public knowledge and understanding of social, political and economic issues.