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Mediati(zi)ng EU Politics: Online News Coverage of the 2009 European Parliamentary Elections

Hans-Joerg Trenz, Joint paper with Asimina Michailidou

This article evaluates the mediatizing potential of the internet on the politics of European integration and the process of enhancing the democratic legitimacy of the European Union (EU), i.e. the ways in which online media participate or interfere with the democratization of the EU by either advancing or constraining the development of a legitimate political order respectively. Specifically, we ask if there is any evidence that the EU political communication which takes place in online forums is substantially and qualitatively different from the political communication channeled through offline public and media spheres of the member states. Using three 'mediatization potential' indicators (publicity, inclusion and degrees of contestation), we focus our analysis on the online debates during the 2009 EU elections (May-June 2009) in 12 member-states and trans-European level. Our findings highlight the multiple, conflicting dynamics of mediatization present in the EU political e-sphere.

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