Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


Research Seminar: Peter Van Aelst – How do politicians use the media?

Clothworkers’ Building North, Lecture Theatre G.12, All Welcome

How do individual politicians use the news media to reach their political goals? This question can be best addressed by using an actor-centered, functional approach. Together with Stefaan Walgrave I developed the ‘Information & Arena’ model to distinguish two essential functions the mass media have for political elites. The media are a source of information and politicians can profit from the momentum generated by media information. The media also are an arena elites need access to in order to promote themselves and their issues. These two functions offer certain politicians a structural advantage over others and are relevant for the power struggle among political elites. In this lecture I will focus on how the media use of politicians varies across different politicians, issues, and political systems.

Peter Van Aelst is professor in political communication and member of the research group ‘Media, Movements and Politics’ at the University of Antwerp. He is the current chair of the ICA Political Communication  Division. He studies political news, election campaigns, and the relationship between (new) media and politics in comparative perspective.

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