Media-centric and Politics-centric Views of Media and Democracy: A Longitudinal Analysis of Political Communication and the International Journal of Press/Politics

Erik P. Bucy, Heather K. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Political communication is a dynamic, interdisciplinary field that has grown in stature and reach in recent decades, becoming more international in scope and orientation while gaining respect in political science as a legitimate area of inquiry. In the evolving and participatory media-politics landscape, it becomes important to ask how the cross-disciplinary project of political communication research is keeping pace with changing conditions that provide a greater structural role for the press in politics and new technology in the enactment of citizenship. To track these trends in research, this paper reports the results of a longitudinal content analysis of research articles published in the journals Political Communication and the International Journal of Press/Politics for the period 1996-2016. For each year, we selected one issue at random and examined all research articles in that issue, excluding reviews, invited theme essays, and commentaries. Altogether, 229 articles were included in the analysis. Results indicate a noticeable increase in the internationalization of political communication research over the 20-year analysis period, a slight decrease in research expressing a negative evaluative tone toward the media over time, and consistent growth in the percentage of articles with a media-centric focus, defined as positioning the press as a central consideration in the study and regarding news media as central to democratic life. In light of these findings, the unique interpretive lenses that researchers adopt depending on discipline are explored in relation to ongoing developments in political communication research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Normative theory
  • interdisciplinarity
  • media criticism
  • mediatization
  • political communication

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Media-centric and Politics-centric Views of Media and Democracy: A Longitudinal Analysis of Political Communication and the International Journal of Press/Politics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this