Sixth EU Framework
Programme - Priority 7

1st AIM-Conference in Dortmund

How do European journalists report on EU topics? Are there noticeable differences between the EU coverage in the various national journalism cultures? These questions were discussed during the first AIM conference at the Erich Brost Institute.

Processes and structures shaping EU journalism were in the centre of attention: Experts from ten European countries attended the first conference of the AIM project to present mid-term results. The AIM project started in May 2004 and will conclude in April 2007.

Starting the empirical work in March 2005, a first field study has been conducted in all participating countries including an analysis of EU coverage in national newspapers and TV newscasts. Furthermore, the researchers interviewed 158 journalists in ten different countries dealing with EU topics.

One outcome of the first field study was for example that EU coverage decreases especially in the new EU member states in Eastern Europe since these countries entered the Union. Many interviewed journalists complained that news from Brussels are too abstract and complex to explain them in a comprehensible and entertaining way to their public. Generally they do not feel enough informed about the EU and EU institutions.

The AIM-conference also gave the opportunity to present national results concerning journalism cultures or aspects of political communication and bring these results into the debate with the scientific community. Therefore several external experts from across Europe came to Dortmund to discuss the project. Among them Fritz Pleitgen, director of the WDR and Vice President of the European Broadcasting Union, who talked about the role of public service broadcasting in the creation of a European Public Sphere.

Participants during the workshop