Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 558528
Title The Chick Diffusion: How Newspapers Fail to Meet Normative Expectations Regarding Their Democratic Role in Public Debate
Author(s) Garnier, Marie; Wessel, Margit Van; Tamás, Peter A.; Bommel, Severine Van
Source Journalism Studies 21 (2019)5. - ISSN 1461-670X - p. 636 - 658.
Department(s) Strategic Communication
Mathematical and Statistical Methods - Biometris
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Abstract Media scholarship has commonly regarded newspapers as an essential element of strong democratic societies: a forum that structures public debate, providing engaged citizens with coherent frameworks to identify, interpret and tackle complex issues. Despite general agreement on the merits of this goal, there is little empirical evidence suggesting it approximates the democratic role historically played by newspapers. We examined three decades of newspaper coverage of chicken meat production in the UK to find evidence relevant to the normative expectations of the democratic role of newspapers as forum for public debate, by means of a two-stage framing analysis of 766 relevant articles from seven outlets. We found mutually disconnected episodic coverage of specific issues whose aggregate effect is consistent with the diffusion rather than the structuring of public debate. Newspapers here afforded polemic rather than the systemic contestation expected. The polemic contestation we found, with diffusion of public debate as an emergent political effect, troubles the assumptions subsequent to which it is possible to argue for the democratic role of newspapers.
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