Sixth EU Framework
Programme - Priority 7

AIM-Working Papers, 2006/1

AIM Research Consortium (ed.): Understanding the Logic of EU Reporting in Mass Media. Analysis of EU media coverage and interviews in editorial offices in Europe.

This working paper provides a first descriptive outline of how EU news is dealt with in different national journalistic cultures and enables researchers to examine whether there are connections between the way media report about the EU and the way newsrooms and journalistic working procedures are structured and organised in different journalistic cultures.

The participants of the AIM project analysed EU coverage and news management processes in ten European countries (Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, and the United Kingdom). The study included semi-structured in-depth interviews with newsroom journalists in Europe and quantitative and qualitative analyses of media output.

- The researchers interviewed a total of 158 journalists in the participating countries. Most of them worked in the home newsrooms as editors, some being explicitly responsible for EU media coverage. The interviews show what journalists think about newsroom policies, agenda-setting, and news management processes, what professional background and self-understanding they have, how they perceive their audience, and what they think about the state of (a) European public sphere(s) and a European identity.

- Accompanying these interviews, each national research team examined the EU coverage of three newspapers (a national, a regional, and a popular daily newspaper or equivalent) and two television newscasts (public service and commercial) from March 7-28, 2005. On the whole, 2,615 articles with reference to the EU were analysed. Thus, the news agenda analysis (NAA) provides a set of quantitative and qualitative data describing EU issues on national news agendas in comparison.

The results of the news agenda analysis (NAA) and the interviews are presented in the form of national reports in this working paper.