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The battle for ‘expansion’ of public service broadcasting on the Internet. The press coverage of the 12th amendment of the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting and Telemedia in Germany

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This article studies the press coverage of the 12th amendment of the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting and Telemedia, which defines to what extent public service broadcasting is allowed to operate on the Internet in Germany. This article seeks to find out whether the German press provided visibility and diversity or whether it restricted the process of opinion forming on this issue. From a pluralistic democratic perspective, balanced and diverse media coverage is an important precondition for decision-making processes in media and communication policy. By means of qualitative content analysis the frames used by five national print media were identified and examined for diversity. The findings show that the press has indeed restricted the process of opinion forming. Frames with a negative evaluation of public service online activities prevailed regardless of editorial positions. Alternative frames only occurred fragmentarily. This study demonstrates the importance of diverse media coverage as the basis for coordination and problem solving in the increasingly complex field of media and communication policy.

Keywords: media and communication; media coverage; online activities; policy; public service broadcasting

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Publication date: April 23, 2012

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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