Media System, Political Context and Informed Citizenship Study Featured in Huffington Post

A study on which Professor David Rowe was a researcher has been featured in The Huffington Post's article ‘Media psychology: TV and politics – if media keep it real, so will the people’. The article discusses the relationship between media consumption and political engagement in the UK and highlight’s some of the findings from the study. 

The 11-nation research project, Media System, Political Context and Informed Citizenship: A Comparative Study, investigated how changes in the organisation of the media and in wider society are affecting the quality of citizenship, and especially people's knowledge of public affairs, in a range of international contexts. 

As described in one of the resulting publications, the project found that TV news, and in particular public service TV news, can be very effective in imparting information about public affairs and promoting a culture of democracy in which news exposure, public affairs knowledge, sense of democratic competence and political interest feed off each other. However, the views represented in public affairs news are overwhelmingly those of men and elites, which can discourage identification with public life. 

The countries that formed the basis of the study were Australia, Columbia, Canada, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States. A quantitative analysis of media content was undertaken, along with a representative survey in each country. Professor Rowe along with Professors Rod Tiffen (University of Sydney) and Paul Jones (University of New South Wales), were responsible for the Australian component.

The international survey and media content analysis was conducted in 2010 and publications are ongoing. You can read more about the study and the findings in the Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism article: ‘Reconsidering “virtuous circle” and “media malaise” theories of the media: An 11-nation study’ (opens in a new window).

Principal investigators on the project 

  • James Curran, Goldsmiths, University of London (Project Leader), UK
  • Toril Aalberg, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Sharon Coen (Senior Consultant), University of Canterbury, UK
  • Kaori Hayashi and Yukio Maeda, University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Shanto Iyengar, Stanford University, USA
  • Paul Jones, David Rowe and Rod Tiffen, Universities of New South Wales, Western Sydney, and Sydney, Australia (respectively)
  • Gianpietro Mazzoleni, University of Milan, Italy
  • Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, National University of Athens, Greece
  • Vinod Pavarala, Pradeep Krishnatray and Ashok Ranchhod, University of Hyderabad and MICORE, India
  • Hernando Rojas, University of Madison-Wisconsin, USA (Colombia case study)
  • Stuart Soroka, McGill University, Canada
  • June Woong Rhee, Seoul National University, Korea

Project publications by Professor Rowe to date

Curran, J, Coen, S, Soroka, S, Aalberg, T, Hayashi, K, Hichy, Z, Iyengar, S, Jones, PK, Mazzoleni, G, Papathanassopoulos, S, Rhee, JW, Rojas, H, Rowe, D & Tiffen, R 2014, ‘Reconsidering “virtuous circle” and “media malaise” theories of the media: an 11-nation study’ (opens in a new window), Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 815-833.

Aalberg, T, Papathanassopoulos, S, Soroka, S, Curran, J, Hayashi, K, Iyengar, S, Jones, PK, Mazzoleni, G, Rojas, H, Rowe, D & Tiffen, R 2013, ‘International TV news, foreign affairs interest and public knowledge: a comparative study of foreign news coverage and public opinion in 11 countries’, Journalism Studies, vol. 14, no. 3.

Papathanassopoulos, S, Coen, S, Curran, J, Aalberg, T, Rowe, D, Jones, P, Rojas, H & Tiffen, R 2013, ‘Online threat, but TV is still dominant: a comparative study of 11 nations’ news consumption’, Journalism Practice, vol. 7, no. 6.

Tiffen, R, Jones, P, Rowe, D, Aalberg, T, Coen, S, Curran, J, Hayashi, K, Iyengar, S, Mazzoleni, G, Papathanassopoulos, S, Rojas, H & Soroka, S 2014, ‘Sources in the news: a comparative study’, Journalism Studies, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 374-391.

Curran, J, Coen, S, Aalberg, T, Hayashi, K, Jones, PK, Splendore, S, Papathanassopoulos, S, Rowe, D & Tiffen, R 2013, ‘Internet revolution revisited: a comparative study of online news’ (opens in a new window), Media, Culture & Society, vol. 35, no. 7, pp. 880-897.

Soroka, S, Blake A, Aalberg, T, Iyengar, S, Curran, J, Coen, S, Hayashi, K, Jones, P, Mazzoleni, G, Rhee, JW, Rowe, D & Tiffen, R 2012, ‘Auntie knows best? Public broadcasters and current affairs knowledge’ (opens in a new window), British Journal of Political Science, vol. 43, pp. 719-739.

29 April 2015