« All articles from this issue

Javnost - The Public, Vol. 19 - 2012, No. 4

The Deliberative Quality of Referendum Coverage in Direct Democracy: Findings from a Longitudinal Analysis of Swiss Media

, , pages: 93-110

The article presents a systematic and standardised content analysis of 4,559 newspaper articles; it covers nine popular votes in Switzerland between 1983 and 2004 and measures the deliberativeness of the mediated public debate. In the last decade, a growing number of studies employ a deliberative framework in analysing mass media contents. However, these studies followed a sceptical perspective and found evidence that mediated deliberation inevitably falls short of the demanding criteria provided by normative theory. Nevertheless, the article demonstrates that there are examples of deliberative journalism in Swiss direct democratic campaigns. We argue that a political system of a mature direct democracy, such as the Swiss democracy is, together with a journalistic culture which is “educated” by initiative and referendum, might provide an appropriate environment for mediated-public deliberation.

pdf icon Full text PDF | quote icon Export Reference | permalink icon

« All articles from this issue