Sixth EU Framework
Programme - Priority 7

ICA-Conference in Dresden

Reporting Europe: AIM-Project presents first results at the ICA-Conference in Dresden, June 19-23, 2006.

The AIM Consortium presented the project and its first results during a panel presentation at the annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Dresden.

Chaired by Paolo Mancini, the panel started with a presentation of the outcomes of a comparative content analysis of EU-coverage in ten countries. As the main result of the content analysis Peter Golding argued that EU-coverage does not correspond to the importance of the EU.

Aukse Balcytiene and Piia Tammpuu discussed one reason for this disregard. They elaborated the news management by the EU institutions. Based on interviews with EU Commission spokespeople they reviewed problems in EU communication.

Then Heikki Heikkilä summarised the first outcomes of the AIM-reseach, also based on interviews with journalists in Brussels and in newsrooms in ten European countries, and used it as a starting point for a theoretical discussions about the European public sphere and the future of the European identity.

EU media system is missing

Afterwards Gerd Kopper, Oliver Hahn and Julia Lönnendonker discussed further reasons for the disregard of the EU. They argued that EU institutions and its structures hinder the development of a common EU news agenda and consequently profound media coverage of decision-making in the EU. Furthermore due to the different political, legal, economical, and cultural conditions frameworks in national contexts various journalism cultures have developed over time, a common EU media system is missing.

Finally Oliver Bainée presented results of his PhD thesis discussing Brussels as a newssite. With more than 1200 accredited journalists Brussels is today the No. 1 newsspot in the world and its complexity is unmanageable for many journalists.

The conference participants were very interested in the AIM-project and its outcomes. They asked a lot of questions, which served as a starting point for a vivid discussion after the presentations.