Media logic in the coverage of election promises: Comparative evidence from the Netherlands and the US

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This article analyzes the occurrence of media logic in the coverage of election
promises in the Netherlands and the US. Whereas studies of media logic commonly focus separate attention on one of its various manifestations, we believe a comprehensive understanding requires a more inclusive approach. In response, we include five aspects of media logic in our study of news coverage: the occurrence of (a) the strategy frame, (b) the game frame, (c) the conflict frame, (d) personalization, and (e) negativity. Our study contributes innovatively to the existing literature by taking an approach that, rather than starting from campaign manifestos, analyzes election promises as they are reported on in newspapers. We take this approach because the media are the primary source of information about election promises for citizens. The results of our study indicate that media logic is ubiquitous in the coverage of election promises, but that media logic does not always behave across different media and political systems in the way the literature predicts. Notably, the results show that, in
contrast to our expectations, coverage of election promises is more negative in the Netherlands than in the US.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalActa Politica
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 2019



  • Media logic
  • Election campaigns
  • election promises
  • Media frames

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