The Effects of Media and their Logic on Legitimacy Sources within Local Governance Networks: A Three-Case Comparative Study

Iris Korthagen, Ingmar Van Meerkerk
2014 Local Government Studies  
Although theoretical and empirical work on the democratic legitimacy of governance networks is growing, little attention has been paid to the impact of mediatisation on democracies. Media have their own logic of news-making led by the media's rules, aims, production routines and constraints, which affect political decision-making processes. In this article we specifically study how media and their logic affect three democratic legitimacy sources of political decision making within governance
more » ... works: voice, due deliberation and accountability. We conducted a comparative case study of three local governance networks using a mixed method design, combining extensive qualitative case studies, interviews and a quantitative content analysis of media reports. In all three cases, media logic increased voice possibilities for citizen groups. Furthermore, it broadened the deliberation process, although this did not improve the quality of this process per se, because of the media focus on drama and negativity. Thirdly, media logic often pushed political authorities into a reactive communication style as they had to fight against negative images in the media. Proactive communication about projects, such as PR strategies and branding, is difficult in such a media landscape.
doi:10.1080/03003930.2013.859139 fatcat:didgpq46azcjbkicivdh2dmt7u