Uwe Krüger: Power of Opinion-making. The Influence of Elites on Key Media and Alpha-Journalists. A critical Network Analysis

17. September 2014 0 Comments

meinungsmachtSo far, the interactions between journalists and elites have mostly been explored within a system-theoretical frame and by interviewing stakeholders, and the results were anonymised. This study follows a different approach, both theoretically and methodically, to locate the influence of elites on journalistic content.
The author develops a theoretical model that explains the behaviour of media by pressure groups and social networks and that predicts that key media more or less reflect the current discourse of the elites but neither exceed its limits nor critically question its assumptions.
In the empirical part a network analysis first focuses on the social environment of 219 senior editors of German leading media. One in three journalists entertained informal contacts with political and economic elites; for four foreign policy journalists of FAZ, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt and Die Zeit close-knit networks in the U.S.- and NATO-affine elite milieu are detected.
A subsequent frame analysis asks to what extent the output of these four journalists is in line with the established reference groups concerning the disputed questions of the definition of security (“extended concept of security”) and of the deployment of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. Finally, a content analysis examines the reports on the Munich Security Conference and on their opponents in five daily newspapers. It concludes that the elite-related leading newspapers Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung reflect the on-going elite discourse during the security conference in detail, but that they marginalize and delegitimize protests and the counter-event “Munich Peace Conference”.




Uwe Krüger

Der Einfluss von Eliten auf Leitmedien und Alpha-­Journalisten – eine kritische Netzwerkanalyse
Reihe des Instituts für Praktische Journalismus- und Kommunikationsforschung (IPJ), 9
2013, 378 S., 30 Abb., 17 Tab., Broschur, 213 x 142 mm, dt.
EUR(D) 29,50 / EUR(A) 30,20 / sFr. 49,80
ISBN 978-3-86962-070-1



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