The Mediatisation of Politics

Room: 
Room 2.29, Law & Politics Building
Time Slot: 
Tuesday 27th March 13:30 - 15:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Daniel Jackson (Bournemouth University)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Mercy Ette (University of Huddersfield)
  • Mrs Sarah Joe (University of Huddersfield)
  • Mr Suleiman Suleiman (School of Political Social and International Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich)
  • Mr Jon Gunnar Olafsson (Goldsmiths, University of London)

 

Mediatisation refers to the increasing influence of media, and it affects all parts of politics, including the processes as well as the political institutions, organisations and actors. According to mediatisation theories, media narratives focus more on the political players and their temperaments, idiosyncrasies, ideas, outlooks, and their capabilities for sparking controversy rather than examining party policies. Two papers examine aspects of Nigerian politics and mediatisation. For African countries like Nigeria, democratic transition is conceived not only in terms of advancing human rights and political freedoms, but also for improving political accountability, or quite simply, reducing corruption; and the role of the press is said to be central to both through watchdog journalism. The first paper examines the watchdog role of the Nigerian press in its coverage of political corruption. The second paper examines dominant discourses about Boko Haram in the Nigerian press and explores how ‘labelling’ is used to frame this group, echoing the ethno-religious conflict embedded in Nigerian politics. The study examines the representation of Boko Haram in the Nigerian press to evaluate how the discourse about the sect has been constructed. It focuses particularly on the dominant voices in the framing of the group and the implications of this on public understanding of the sect. A third paper examines recent constitutional debates in Turkey, specifically from a mediatisation perspective. In particular, the political conversations around constitutional change were limited to the polemics and slogans accusing of each other and did not allow talking about the content of constitutional amendments. To sum up, a mediated public sphere shaped public opinion. A fourth paper investigates the interaction and working practices of journalists and politicians in Iceland during difficult times assessing the perceptions of the political coverage in the Icelandic media following the financial crisis. Furthermore, the attitudes and perceptions of the general public are explored and compared to those of Icelandic media and political elites. A new definition of political communication in small states is introduced: the traditional theoretical paradigms concerning the separation of the public and private spheres are problematised in relation to media and politics in a small country. It argues that there are various overlaps in elite roles and that the general public in Iceland is much closer to elites in comparison to publics in larger mediatized representative democracies, raising important questions concerning how to investigate political communication in small communities.