The media’s role in lawmaking

The media’s role in lawmaking: A case study analysis

From The International Journal of Press/Politics

There is a lack of studies showing the mechanisms through which the media may affect lawmaking. As a result, there is little knowledge of the role media attention plays in the behavior of legislators and its consequences for the content of laws. This study focuses on the role of media in the legislative process by building on the insights of previous studies in the field of media and politics. This case study analyzes the role of media attention in the legislative process that resulted in the legal regulation of (semi) public officials’ remuneration in the Netherlands. The chronological in-depth analysis of claims made in the media and in parliament shows that during the legislative process, political actors responded to media attention directly and indirectly.

Abstract

Despite the ongoing debate about the role the media play in democracies, there is little empirical research on its role in lawmaking. Yet studies conducted at the micro-level can provide insight into the influence journalists exert on this fundamental aspect of politics. This case study analyzes the role of media attention in the legislative process that resulted in the legal regulation of (semi)public officials’ remuneration in the Netherlands. The chronological in-depth analysis of claims made in the media and in parliament shows that during the legislative process, political actors responded to media attention directly and indirectly. Incident-driven coverage served as a source for questions and was strategically used by members of parliament (MPs) in legislative debates to substantiate and illustrate their position. More indirectly, long-term trends in media coverage for specific topics contributed to the introduction of and support for amendments to the bill.

Read this article for free

Article details
Lotte Melenhorst

The Media’s Role in Lawmaking: A Case Study Analysis The International Journal of Press/Politics 1940161215581924, first published on April 16, 2015 doi:10.1177/1940161215581924

 

     
This entry was posted in Communication & Media, SAGE Insight and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply