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New regionalism — not too complex for the media watchdog: media reporting and citizens’ perception of democratic legitimacy in four European metropolitan areas


Christmann, Anna; Kübler, Daniel; Hasler, Karin; Marcinkowski, Frank; Schemer, Christian (2015). New regionalism — not too complex for the media watchdog: media reporting and citizens’ perception of democratic legitimacy in four European metropolitan areas. Urban Affairs Review, 51(5):676-707.

Abstract

As cities grow and expand, governance networks advocated by the “new regionalism” have become increasingly important for policy making in metropolitan areas. This article examines media reporting about governance networks and the effect this reporting has on democratic accountability and legitimacy. We use data from a standardized content analysis of newspaper coverage about metropolitan policy making in four European metropolitan areas (Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and London), as well as survey data on citizens’ attitudes. We find that the leading newspapers adequately cover governance processes and pay attention to both governmental and nongovernmental actors. Media content is correlated with citizen perceptions of democratic legitimacy, meaning both trust in government as well as satisfaction with democracy. We argue that there is a communicational dimension of public accountability that is important in upholding the democratic quality of “new regionalism” and of governance networks more generally.

Abstract

As cities grow and expand, governance networks advocated by the “new regionalism” have become increasingly important for policy making in metropolitan areas. This article examines media reporting about governance networks and the effect this reporting has on democratic accountability and legitimacy. We use data from a standardized content analysis of newspaper coverage about metropolitan policy making in four European metropolitan areas (Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and London), as well as survey data on citizens’ attitudes. We find that the leading newspapers adequately cover governance processes and pay attention to both governmental and nongovernmental actors. Media content is correlated with citizen perceptions of democratic legitimacy, meaning both trust in government as well as satisfaction with democracy. We argue that there is a communicational dimension of public accountability that is important in upholding the democratic quality of “new regionalism” and of governance networks more generally.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:September 2015
Deposited On:21 Jan 2016 09:42
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 17:14
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1078-0874
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1078087414549549
Official URL:http://uar.sagepub.com/content/51/5/676.full.pdf+html
Related URLs:http://uar.sagepub.com/content/51/5.toc

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