The media’s role in shaping the priorities of politicians, known as political agenda setting, is usually examined at the institutional level. However, individual politicians’ goals and attitudes are also expected to shape their level of responsiveness to the media. This study is the first to explore how individual politicians’ goals and motivations moderate their real-life level of responsiveness to the media. We examine this by using a unique sample of 197 incumbent politicians in three countries (Belgium, Canada, and Israel) and an automated content analysis of parliamentary speeches (N = 45,574) and news articles (N = 412,112). We find that politicians who view themselves as a conduit of the public (delegates) are more responsive to the media than those acting on their own judgment (trustees). Politicians involved in many issues (generalists) are also more responsive than specialists. Finally, no association is found between politicians’ negativity bias and their media responsiveness.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||International Journal of Press/Politics|
|State||Published - 1 Oct 2017|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the European Research Council (Advanced Grant ‘INFOPOL’, No. 295735) and the Research Fund of the University of Antwerp (Grant No. 26827). Stefaan Walgrave (University of Antwerp) is the principal investigator of the INFOPOL project, which has additional teams in Israel (led by Tamir Sheafer) and Canada (led by Stuart Soroka and Peter Loewen). Funding for this project was also provided by the Halbert Centre for Canadian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Association for Canadian Studies.
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.
- automated content analysis
- political agenda setting
- political elites
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science