Exploring the ‘ultimate’ step in the mediatization of political parties: Members of the Danish Parliament and their communication skills 1981-2015

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Previous studies exploring the fourth dimension of mediatization, that is to say the extent to which political parties adjust their perceptions and behaviour to news media logic, have focused on three steps of structural change that political parties may take as a response to the increasing importance of the news media on politics (Strömbäck & Van Alest, 2013). As a first step parties may hire more professional communicators to work as press officers. As a second step these professional communicators may move to the top of the party’s decision-making structure, and as a third, and ultimate step, parties may begin to especially focus on candidates who are skilled in communicating with the news media (Strömbäck & Van Alest, 2013).So far, research into the fourth dimension of mediatization in Denmark has focused mostly on the first two steps (Blach-Ørsten, 2016; Elmelund-Præstekær & Hopmann, 2016). In this article we explore the third step by looking at the publically recorded resumes of all elected (or re-elected) members of the Danish Parliament from 1981 to 2015 (n=2148). Based on the resumes we ask if more members of the Danish Parliament can be said to have ‘communication skills’ as part of either their education or prior work experience. We find that of the candidates elected to the Danish Folketing in 1981 just 16 percent had ‘communication skills’ as part of their public resumes, whereas 27 percent of new members of the Danish Parliament elected in 2015 had communication skills as part of their resumes. Based on these findings we discuss which, if any, consequences this development has on both political parties and our perceptions of democracy in Denmark.
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedNopsa Nordic political Science Congress 2017 - Syddansk Universitet, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 8 aug. 201711 aug. 2017


KonferenceNopsa Nordic political Science Congress 2017
LokationSyddansk Universitet

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