Election Coverage

This entry looks at media election coverage to highlight the advantages of an international perspective, looking across a number of European contexts. It draws attention to a number of common themes and challenges in the relationship between journalism and the political process. These include journalism’s self-image as public watchdog, compelled by a shared expectation that media will occupy the center of the political public sphere. Another factor is the persistent influence of public service media—frequently, though not always, assumed to establish professional standards for political events such as elections—and the extension of public service-oriented aspirations to neutrality into dynamic commercial news environments.

The entry then looks to the various qualities of election coverage across national settings. There is, first, the extensive use of a competitive ...

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