The explanatory logic: Factors that shape political news

Frank Esser, Claes de Vreese, David Nicolas Hopmann

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Insights gained depend on the questions asked. This chapter describes the why and the how of our study’s approach. After outlining some principal research interests of comparative news analyses, we introduce a theoretical hierarchy of infl uences that needs to be observed in order to understand the construction of media content. In fi tting this model to the specifi c requirements of our study, we emphasize, in particular, the importance of integrating event-centered and mediacentered considerations, of incorporating an explicit comparative perspective, and of applying appropriate strategies of data analysis. The main part of the chapter introduces the explanatory factors that are used in this study to elucidate crossnational and cross-organizational differences in journalists’ use of the six core concepts of political news. The explanatory factors are systematized according to their level of analysis, and we provide a great many examples to illustrate their use in this study, together with concrete operationalizations. We conclude by situating our own approach in the recent development of explanation-oriented comparative news research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparing Political Journalism
EditorsClaes de Vreese, Frank Esser, David Nicolas Hopmann
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9781138655850
ISBN (Electronic)9781315622286
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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    Esser, F., de Vreese, C., & Hopmann, D. N. (2017). The explanatory logic: Factors that shape political news. In C. D. Vreese, F. Esser, & D. N. Hopmann (Eds.), Comparing Political Journalism (pp. 22-32). Routledge.