MEDPOL - The fourth estate? media, frames and political behaviour towards the EU in comparative perspective

Le projet

How do the media report EU affairs, and to what extent may such coverage shape public attitudes towards integration? MEDPOL’s aim is twofold: a) to investigate how media coverage of the EU has evolved since the signature of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, and b) to assess the impact of news content and frames on political attitudes and behaviour towards the EU in Italy, Portugal, Spain and France. Drawing on Political Science, Communication Studies and Political Economy literature, the project follows a mixed methods approach grounded on agenda-setting and framing theories.  MEDPOL brings together news databases, survey and electoral data as well as socio-economic indicators in order to analyse how issue visibility and media framing may influence attitudes and electoral behaviour in different countries and social groups. MEDPOL also investigates the mechanisms through which frames, ideas and narratives may compete with each other and may contribute to political polarisation. Findings will further our understanding of how accounts and perceptions about the EU emerge and evolve and contribute to the diffusion of content analysis techniques. While the project focuses on four member states, the goal is to develop a model that can be adapted to analyse the relationship between media, attitudes and behaviours in other countries