Due to an increasing interdependence between mass communication and political processes, the role of media in political campaigns generated much debate.In this paper, we identify commercialization, framing and personalization as three key challenges to the way the media face political campaigns. We theoretically derive three hypotheses, one for each of those challenges. Based on data from expert interviews as well as from a content analysis, the validity of each hypothesis is surveyed.
The results do not confi rm an assumed lack of providing campaign relevant news in the media coverage as proposed by considering the media as purely commercially driven organizations. Further they demonstrate the use of different frames for the presentation of competing positions in a political debate. Finally, personalization appears as an important strategy of news selection, focusing on a small number of prominent actors.