Measuring Party Positions and Issue Salience from Media Coverage: Discussing and Cross-Validating New Indicators
37 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 3 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2009
Recent studies have started to use media data to measure party positions and issue salience. The aim of this article is to compare and cross-validate this alternative approach with the more commonly used party manifestos, expert judgments and mass surveys. To this purpose, we present two methods to generate indicators of party positions and issue salience from media coverage: the core sentence approach and political claims analysis. Our cross-validation shows that with regard to party positions, indicators derived from the media converge with traditionally used measurements from party manifestos, mass surveys and expert judgments, but that salience indicators measure different underlying constructs. We conclude with a discussion of specific research questions for which media data offer potential advantages over more established methods.
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