The Media as a Dual Mediator of the Political Agenda–Setting Effect of Protest. A Longitudinal Study in Six Western European Countries ..

with Rens Vliegenthart, Stefaan Walgrave, Ruud Wouters, Swen Hutter, Will Jennings, Roy Gava, Anke Tresch, Frédéric Varone, Emiliano Grossman, Christian Breunig, Sylvain Brouard and Laura Chaques-Bonafont . Social Forces, 95(2) 2016, 837-859.


The study investigates the impact of media coverage of protest on issue attention in parliament (questions) in six Western European countries. Integrating several data sets on protest, media, and political agendas, we demonstrate that media coverage of protest affects parliamentary agendas: the more media attention protest on an issue receives, the more parliamentary questions on that issue are asked. The relationship, however, is mediated by the issue agenda of mass media more generally, attesting to an indirect rather than a direct effect. Additionally, the effect of media-covered protests on the general media agenda is moderated by the political system and is larger in majoritarian countries than in countries with a consensus democracy. This shows the importance of political opportunity structures for the agenda-setting impact of protest.

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