Sourcing the News: Comparing Source Use and Media Framing of the 2009 European Parliamentary Elections
The relationship between journalists and their sources has been described as an interdependent relationship where each part needs the other. For political actors, this relationship is particularly important during election campaigns, when their need to reach voters through the media is even more urgent than usual. This is particularly true with respect to European Parliamentary election campaigns, as these are often less salient and as people's need for orientation is greater than in national elections. However, there is only limited cross-national research on the media's use of news sources and whether there are associations between the use of news sources and media framing. This holds true for research on election campaigns in general and on European Parliamentary election campaigns in particular. Against this background, this study investigates cross-national differences and similarities in the media's use of news sources in their coverage of the 2009 European Parliamentary election campaigns and the extent to which the use of news sources is associated with the media's framing of politics and the EU. The study draws upon a quantitative content analysis of the media coverage in twelve countries. Findings suggest that there are both important similarities and differences across countries with respect to the use of news sources and that there are cases when the use of news sources is related to the framing of politics and the EU.