Talk by Professor Juliana Raupp from the Freie Universitat Berlin, as part of the weekly Media School colloquium series. Professor Raupp will present findings from an ongoing research project focusing on old and new media-government relations in Germany, the U.K., and Italy. See the abstract below for further details.
The talk will take place Friday September 8, from 12:20pm to 1:10pm in Franklin Hall (room 310), and all are welcome!
Networked Media Government Relations. A European perspective
Government communications provide citizens with information on executive politics and thus contributes to the legitimacy of a democratic government. To that end, governments build strategic relationships with the news media. In an online news environment, however, the government-media relationship changes. New ways of disseminating information and interacting with citizens changes the scope of action for government actors. This raises questions about traditional approaches to government communication. Is there evidence of new patterns of government communications, and what are the consequences for government organizations?
I will present findings from an ongoing research project “Networked Media Government Relations”. In this comparative project, we investigate old and new media-government relations in three national contexts, focusing on Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
Methodologically, the project is based on an online content analysis of government websites and FB and Twitter pages, as well as an interview study of spokespersons, including an ego network analysis. We found large similarities between the three countries in terms of the extent to which government organizations use websites and social media, but relatively large differences between the organizations within the three countries. We also found that – at least in Germany and the UK – government spokespersons continue to have strong relations with well-established, traditional media actors. At the same time, there are strong indications that government communication adapts to the changing media environment. What we see is a process of gradual institutionalization of hybrid media practices. The implications of this process for government organizations are not yet fully understood. I propose to interpret the implications as a simultaneous de-institutionalization and institutionalization of strategic communication practices.