This paper argues in favour of a new research perspective of analyzing public opinion not as an aggregated value of individual attitudes measured through polls but as a mediated effect of public political communication that resonates with the wider audience of democratic politics. The analytical model proposed here captures the form, dynamics and location of online political news communication as well as its substantial content. It applies this model to the case of online opinion-making on EU politics to measure the diversity of different national contexts in online news media across EU countries. It further factors in the effects of Web 2.0 communications on the content of professional journalistic output and media structures; the role of political blogs in generating public political debates; the role of audiences-citizens in the online media sphere; and the role of online media and communications in electoral campaigns.
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