The role of public and media processes of mediation in shaping Eurosceptic attitudes and driving opposition to the EU has received relatively little attention in Euroscepticism research. In this article, we examine media coverage of the 2014 European Parliament election to analyse the role of the media in generating democratic legitimacy. By comparing Germany and the UK, we investigate the extent to which news coverage of the EU suffers from a systematic negativity bias. Negativity as a news value focuses on political failures, polemics, scandals or crisis which can undermine trust in democratic politics and its representatives. Using standardised content and frame analysis of articles, actor statements and user comments, we demonstrate how a negativity bias in EU news can be amplified by different actors – journalists, political actors, and news readers – and linked to the legitimacy of EU politics in the context of democratic elections. We argue that we can speak of a ‘spiral of Euroscepticism’ that results from a negativity bias in media coverage and reception that that then contributes to delegitimising the European integration project.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Spiral of Euroscepticism: EU News and Media Negativity|
|Journal||Osterreichische Zeitschrift fur Soziologie|
|Issue number||Supplement 1|
|Publication status||Published - 16 May 2018|