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IP 12 (Phase II): Strategies and processes of issue selection and construction: comparing public debates

The media are an important corner stone in modern democracies. In order to make democracy work, they need to deliver political news coverage of high or at least reasonable quantity and quality. However, the market orientation of media organizations impedes this function from being easily fulfilled. In general, high quality political news coverage is not suitable for making a big profit and, so far, there are only two explanations why media organizations should cover political debates: because of journalistic values or as an essential part of the media-brand identity.

This research projects aims to find out how media organizations in five countries (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Switzerland) deal with the problem of market orientation versus journalistic values in covering public debates. Under what conditions do media organizations produce which kind of political news coverage? The project will analyze this question in the field of the chosen public debate by interviewing editors-in-chief and media managers of the most important media organizations in the countries under study.

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Project leader:
Prof. Gabriele Siegert, University of Zurich

Isabelle Krebs, University of Zurich
Loris Russi, University of Zurich