Has the Dutch news media acted as a policy actor in the road pricing policy debate?
The media is seen as an important player in road pricing policy implementation processes. Yet, it is not clear whether the media is actually a policy actor, like politicians or interest groups, which pursues a particular policy positions. This paper empirically examines whether the Dutch news media was objective in its reporting of the Dutch road pricing policy debate (which took place between 1998 and 2010) or whether it acted as a policy actor through biased reporting. We applied Westerstahl’s Objectivity Framework to the media coverage by five leading national newspapers. Our main conclusion is that the Dutch news media was not objective and acted as a policy actor in the Dutch road pricing policy debate. Although all the newspapers violated objectivity to the same degree, they clearly adopted different policy positions. One popular newspaper was negative and the other mixed whereas all three quality newspapers were positive with the exception of one which sometimes inclined to a mixed position. All newspapers generally maintained the same position over the relatively long period of the road pricing debate.
Volume (Year): 57 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
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