Comparing News on Europe:

Authored by: Claes H. de Vreese , Hajo G. Boomgaarden

Handbook of Comparative Communication Research

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415802710
eBook ISBN: 9780203149102
Adobe ISBN: 9781136514241

10.4324/9780203149102.ch20

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Abstract

The European Union (EU) with its current membership of 27 states provides a particularly interesting setting for conducting comparative communication research. The member states of the EU with few exceptions have the same legal relationship with Brussels, yet are distinct across a range of contextual, country-specific aspects. While an explicit body of comparative studies has emerged over recent years (e.g., McLaren, 2007; Garry & Tilley, 2009) in the domain of public opinion research with respect to European integration this is only starting to be the case in the area of communications research. Such research primarily addresses questions as to how news media deal with the issue of European integration within a framework of notions of the European Public Sphere (EPS). Although understanding developments in the EPS as signified by the mass media requires a focus on differences between countries, there is little in the way of systematically investigating these differences in a comparative manner. Such endeavors require systematic, large-scale, cross-country data collection efforts. With the exception of Siune (1983), such efforts have so far been rare or limited to just a few countries, not allowing for a systematic comparative approach. And although the importance of media with respect to attitudes towards the EU and European integration is generally acknowledged (Norris, 2000), we have hardly seen a systematic comparative engagement linking media content and survey data while taking into account contextual variations.

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