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Foreign Policy Involvement Matters: Towards an Analytical Framework Examining the Role of the Media in the Making of Foreign Policy

Kerstin Schulz | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: Foreign policy processes have long played a minor role in the study of political communication. There is a broad consensus that the media is the central mediating actor and primary conduit between political decision-makers and the public. However, the media’s influence on foreign policy remains contingent across various processes and phases of foreign policy making; it is dynamic and multi-directional. Considering that the public sphere is essential for the legitimacy of foreign policy making, there is a demand for further research on the media’s performance in the making of foreign policy. Based on secondary research, this paper proposes an analytical framework for the systematic analysis of media–foreign policy relations by integrating foreign-policy context conditions as a research variable. The framework is based on the assumption that the role of the media varies across diverse foreign policy contexts depending on the intensity of governmental involvement in foreign policy issues. The intensity is distinguished according to three dimensions: no involvement, indirect involvement and direct involvement. Finally, a case study is suggested in order to demonstrate the framework’s explanatory power: the German foreign policy towards Russia and its coverage in the German media.

Fragmentation and Polarization of the Public Sphere in the 2000s: Evidence from Italy and Russia

Svetlana S. Bodrunova | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: After the Arab spring, direct linkage between growth of technological hybridization of media systems and political online-to-offline protest spill-overs seemed evident, at least in several aspects, as ‘twitter revolutions’ showed organizational potential of the mediated communication of today. But in de-facto politically transitional countries hybridization of media systems is capable of performing not just organizational but also ‘cultivational’ roles in terms of creating communicative milieus where protest consensus is formed, provoking spill-overs from expressing political opinions online to street protest.The two cases of Italy and Russia are discussed in terms of their non-finished process of transition to democracy and the media’s role within the recent political process. In the two cases, media-political conditions have called into being major cleavages in national deliberative space that may be conceptualized like formation of nation-wide public counter-spheres based upon alternative agenda and new means of communication. The structure and features of these counter-spheres are reconstructed; to check whether regional specifics are involved into the formation of this growing social gap, quantitative analysis of regional online news media (website menus) is conducted. Several indicators for spotting the formation of counter-spheres and criteria for further estimation of democratic quality of such counter-spheres are suggested.

International news production in post-Soviet Ukraine: Where is the ‘center’?

Natalya Ryabinska | PDF-Fulltext

Abstract: This paper focuses on the geography of news sources and news flows, which are involved in international news production in Ukraine. It seeks answers to the following questions: which sources – Western-based media and global news agencies or their competitors from other parts of the world (first of all from Russia) – are preferred in the making of international news in Ukraine? What are the possible reasons of this preference? How does information on foreign affairs created by abroad news producers reach Ukrainian newsrooms? The analysis is based on interviews with 35 media experts and news producers at major Ukrainian broadcasting organizations, as well as from print and online media. The interviewees ― editors-in-chief, heads of international news’ departments, foreign correspondents ― were asked about the process of international news production in their editorial offices, the human and technical resources allocated for foreign news coverage, the professional standards of international journalism, as well as the main sources of foreign news and criteria of their selection involved in the news making process. An important finding of the presented research is the conclusion about indirect, or circuitous movement of foreign news from international news agencies to the Ukrainian media. Because of the peculiarities of Ukrainian news production described in the paper, news from Reuters or Associated Press regularly reaches Ukrainian editorial offices after it has been processed by Russian newsmakers.

Call for Papers for a Special Issue – Winter 2021

Global Digital Media from Intersectional, Queerfeminist and Post- and Decolonial Perspectives


You are invited to submit abstracts for this Special Issue aiming at strengthening critical perspectives in Global Media Studies as well as international communication in order to expand and challenge the hegemonic canon of media studies.

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You are invited to send full paper submissions addressing any topic relevant to international or transcultural communication and media to gmj[at]uni-erfurt.de.

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The Global Media Journal - German Edition (GMJ-DE) is part of a network of academic peer-reviewed open-access journals around the world

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The German Edition is edited by Prof. Dr. Carola Richter and Dr. Christine Horz and hosted at Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Erfurt.

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