News Coverage and Support for European Integration, 1990-2006

Posted: 5 Aug 2009

See all articles by Rens Vliegenthart

Rens Vliegenthart

University of Amsterdam

Andreas R. T. Schuck

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Hajo G. Boomgaarden

University of Amsterdam

Claes H. de Vreese

University of Amsterdam

Date Written: Winter 2008

Abstract

Citizens depend on information from the mass media when forming their opinion about political issues. Studies have shown that news media coverage of the EU can affect general and policy-specific support for European integration. Extant research has focused on individual-level analyses at specific points in time. The present study considers whether the visibility and the framing of EU news coverage conceptualized as contextual factors influence EU support at an aggregate level. We look at this question in seven EU member states for the period 1990-2006. By utilizing aggregated data of the content analytical indicators and aggregate public support measures in a time-series design, we relate variation in news content to subsequent public opinion dynamics. Our results suggest that both the framing of EU news in terms of benefit and conflict matters for public support. While benefit framing increases public support, conflict framing decreases support. We conclude with a discussion of the use of news content as a contextual variable in explaining the public opinion dynamics and potential benefits of this approach for future media effects research.

Suggested Citation

Vliegenthart, Rens and Schuck, Andreas R. T. and Boomgaarden, Hajo G. and de Vreese, Claes H., News Coverage and Support for European Integration, 1990-2006 (Winter 2008). International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Vol. 20, Issue 4, pp. 415-439, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1441093 or http://dx.doi.org/edn044

Rens Vliegenthart (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Andreas R. T. Schuck

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Hajo G. Boomgaarden

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Claes H. De Vreese

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 2426/3680 (Phone)

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