IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The impact of editorial content on the political agenda in Germany: Theoretical assumptions and open questions regarding a neglected subject in mass communication research


  • Eilders, Christiane


This paper takes the perspective of media as autonomous actors in the political process. In editorials media legitimately try to influence the agendas and decisions of the political system not only by explicitly expressing their opinions on issues and political actors, but also by assigning relevance to certain issues or subissues and framing and interpreting political events according to their editorial stance. It may be assumed that the impact of editorials on the political system depends on the degree of issue focusing and opinion consonance: If different newspapers comment on the same issues and express similar opinions, considerable pressure is put on the political system. Our theoretical considerations of the role of “media opinion” in the political process and a review of the relevant agenda-building literature indicate a research gap regarding the impact of editorials on the political agenda. The empirical project outlined in this paper intends to help closing this gap. Editorial content of the leading German newspapers between 1993 and 1998 will be related to data on statements and decisions of the political system in order to investigate under what circumstances media consonance is achieved and how the political system reacts to it.

Suggested Citation

  • Eilders, Christiane, 1997. "The impact of editorial content on the political agenda in Germany: Theoretical assumptions and open questions regarding a neglected subject in mass communication research," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: The Public and the Social Movement FS III 97-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbpub:fsiii97102

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:81:y:1987:i:01:p:23-43_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:77:y:1983:i:01:p:175-190_24 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. West, Darrell M., 1991. "Television and Presidential Popularity in America," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(02), pages 199-214, April.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:84:y:1990:i:02:p:497-512_19 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbpub:fsiii97102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.