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A patchy web: The European network of 

newsflows. A network analysis 
Master Thesis 

This study investigates the structure of the European network of newsflows. According to
recent literature in the field, the horizontal integration of national public spheres is a
constitutive element of a European public sphere. Based on a sample of news items in 25
countries, we present a comprehensive depiction of the mutual coverage of member states in
the EU by applying network analysis. The results show that the network of newsflows is
shaped by the economical and political power of the involved countries as well as by their
cultural and historic proximity. Moreover, we identify two structural gaps: Smaller countries
are generally marginalized and there is a clear division into an Eastern and a Western
European public sphere. The duration of the membership of a country in the EU, however,
has a positive effect on its integration in the network. In contrast to other recent studies in the
field we find little evidence of the existence of a coherent European public sphere.
European Newsflows

The portrait of the European Union in the news media across the continent is a mosaic. It
consists of the depiction of its institutions: the Parliament, the Commission, and the Council.
But there is more to it. Europe is not only what happens in Brussels, but also what happens in
Berlin, Riga, or Lisbon. Therefore, the mosaic also inherits the portrayal of its member states
and their representatives on the European level.

The depiction of Europe is also a mosaic in a different sense. The elements that form the
mosaic are distributed across time and media. Everyday only a few events - if any - that
concern the Union in the widest sense make the news in a specific newspaper of TV news
broadcast. The coverage of the EU in one news outlet is only a snapshot that deviates
significantly from the picture that is presented elsewhere. On a random day, we might not find
a single news item concerning the EU in the largest newspaper of Lithuania, Lietuvos Rytas,
whereas the lead story of the Dutch Volkskrant might be about the Italian president
nominating female top models as prospective candidates for the next European parliamentary
elections (Arends, 2009). Hence, the mosaic, that is the portrait of Europe, looks differently
every day in every European news outlet.

There are, however, a number of underlying patterns in the coverage of the European Union,
especially with regard to the depiction of fellow member states in national news media. To
give an example: The results of a general election in UK are usually discussed extensively all
across Europe, whereas Estonian general elections are more or less neglected in the majority
of other European countries.

It is the aim of this study to identify these patterns of asymmetric coverage of European
member states in the news media. This is done by integrating the depiction of the EU
members presented in the news outlets of 25 European countries over the course of three
weeks into one common picture by using network analysis. This novel analysis technique
allows us to depict the network of newsflows in the European Union. When looking at the
structure of the newsflows in the EU we can discover its gaps as well as its strongest ties. Are
events in particular countries more likely to be picked up than events in other countries?
Moreover, we propose an explanatory model of the identified structural features of the
network of European newsflows. The model is based on news value theory as well as on the
output of an extensive body of empirical studies in the field of foreign news coverage
research. Which characteristics of a country can explain that it is noticed more often than

European Newsflows

others? And does the volume of coverage only depend on characteristics of the country
covered, or also on country attributes of the country in which the news are being published or

Until today, these questions have not been answered in one coherent study analyzing the
content of European news media. In that sense, this study is unique, because it is based on an
extraordinary large data set: the European Election Campaign Content Analysis of 2009 i . For
this project all news items in the TV evening news of the major newscasts on national
television and least two newspapers per country ii in the three weeks before the European
Parliamentary election of 2009 have been coded leading up to a database of more than 30.000
news items iii . This means, that the conclusions drawn are of higher generalizability compared
to previous studies of European newsflows that are mostly based on data collected in not
more than 5 countries. Moreover, having such an extensive data set at disposal is in fact a
precondition for the analytic techniques utilized in this study. The lack of suitable data might
be the reason that the European public sphere has never been conceptualized and empirically
investigated as a network of interconnected national public spheres before, although this
approach fits well to the phenomenon, at least when it comes to measuring the horizontal
dimension of Europeanization of national public spheres.

Knowing potential breaches in the European public sphere does not only satisfy scientific
curiosity. There are also two important societal implications of systematic loopholes in the
European network of newsflows. Firstly, the visibility of national actors and events in the
European news media influences on the power structure of the EU. Which countries’
governments are being heard all across Europe and who does not get their say? Being visible
to a greater public is a precondition for explaining ones standpoint and to solicit for support.
The same holds true for national events and debates. Only those being picked up by news
media of a majority of other member states can also exert an influence on the European

Secondly, the fact that there are gaps in European newsflows itself is noteworthy. The
European Union is a complex multi level system, in which developments in one member state
can influence the whole entity. The initial Polish refusal to sign the treaty of Lisbon, and the
subsequent negotiation process in which Poland was able to alter the treaty in its favor is a
good example for the power of national players in the EU. However, in a patchy network of
European newsflows most of the relevant national developments that motivate the behavior of
national players in Brussels go unnoticed. This means, that a majority of the European

European Newsflows

citizens is unable to give meaning to the positions and decisions of actors that have a national
as well as a European function (e.g, the prime ministers).

Thus, the present study investigates the structure of the European network of newsflows and
its determinants. In the following we first sketch the academic debate concerning the
European public sphere to classify the present study as an analysis of the horizontal
Europeanization of national public spheres. Subsequently, we draw on news value theory and
the empirical body of literature that tested and modified the initial ideas of Galtung and Ruge
(1965) to propose an explanatory model. In a next step, we present a visual depiction of the
network of European newsflows that is based on multi dimensional scaling of the mutual
coverage in 25 European member states during the European Election campaign of 2009.
Moreover an explanatory model of the structural features of the network, in particular the
relative proximity of the member states and their integration in the network, is being
suggested. Finally, we discuss the implications of these findings as well as future paths for
European public sphere research.

European Newsflows


The emergence of a European public sphere 
The academic debate concerning the existence and development of a common public sphere
in the European Union has engaged scholars from all disciplines of the social sciences and is
far from being closed (for an overview see Machill, 2006). Depending on the concept of
European public sphere applied and the methods used to measure it opinions on whether and
to what extent the European public sphere exists, differ significantly. The body of literature
dealing with the subject is still growing: in the past ten years at least 1430 scientific studies
that refer to the term ‘European Public Sphere’ have been published iv . Given the political
relevance of the subject the considerable scientific effort devoted to the conceptualization and
analysis of the public sphere of the European Union should be no surprise. The issue is of
such significance in no small part because it feeds into the ongoing debate regarding the
alleged democratic deficit of the European Union and its consequences for further EU
integration (see e.g. Meyer, 1999; Scharpf 1999).

Since the European Union has developed beyond mere intergovernmental cooperation of the
member states into a set of supranational institutions entitled to take political decisions that
affect the citizens of the member states, several scholars express concerns regarding the
democratic legitimacy of policy making by European institutions. One of the key arguments
made by advocates of the democratic deficit notion is that the European Union lacks a
common public sphere, which is arguably a necessary condition for any functioning
democracy. Firstly because, as Scharpf (1999) points out, political institutions like the EU
lack legitimacy if they merely represent a group of individuals that do not share an arena for
exchange of ideas and to inform themselves about political propositions. Moreover, a shared
public sphere is also a precondition of any collective identity such as, say, a common
European citizenship (Kraus, 2004). Kraus argues that if an aggregate of individuals that lacks
a common identity is taking decisions by popular vote, a society in which minority interests
routinely subjugated to the majority comes about. Finally, Koopmans and Erbe (2004)
mention three more democratic functions of the European mass media, as the constitutive
element of a European public sphere v , that are arguably not completely fulfilled: (a) The mass
media should serve as a ‘response channel’ for political authorities, to inform themselves
about the needs and interests of the people, (b) by covering relevant political events mass
media make the polity structures and decision making processes transparent, (c) the mass

European Newsflows

media provide the opportunity for all members of the political community to engage in the
public debate (for example through interest groups and NGOs).

The assessment of the extent to which those democratic needs are being met by the European
public sphere in its current state might differ among scholars who study the phenomenon.
There is, however, a general consensus that a transnational public sphere consisting of truly
European mass media has not yet emerged. Van de Steeg (2006) even doubts whether it will
ever exist, and calls a supranational European public sphere a utopia. Alternatively, the
European public sphere is commonly conceptualized as a group of Europeanized,
interconnected, national public spheres. That said, there is little agreement regarding the
definition and correct operationalization of such a ‘Europeanized national public sphere’, and
– depending on the conceptualization – there are remarkable differences in the evaluation of
its existence.

Gerhards (2000; 2002) defines ‘Europeanization of national public spheres’ as the attention
national mass media devote to European subjects or actors compared to the coverage of
national topics and politicians. In multiple studies concerning the development of the
prominence of EU topics and actors over time in the German mass media he finds no
evidence for an increase in European coverage in national news outlets at all. Accordingly, he
draws the discouraging conclusion that “Europeanization of the public sphere lags far behind
the Europeanization of politics” [translated by the author] (Gerhards, 2000 p.7). Trenz (2004),
on the other hand, uses a comparable operationalization of Europeanization, namely the share
of EU related coverage compared to other political coverage, but comes to a different
conclusion. He finds sufficient evidence of political coverage using the EU as a referential
frame, and highlights the importance of EU institutions as agenda setters within this coverage.
Koopmans and Pfetsch (2007) and Koopmans and Erbe (2004) focus on the prominence of
European actors and institutions in an analysis of claims in the German news media. They
conclude that the importance of European actors in coverage depends on the topic. The more
a policy field is Europeanized the higher the likelihood of European actors appearing in the
news. Also opposing Gerhards’ results, they conclude that the Europeanization of the German
public sphere accurately reflects the Europeanization of policy making.

Conversely, Meyer (2005) argues that it is not only the amount of coverage that matters in
determining the state of the European public sphere, but the assessment should also take
account of the consonance in the fashion of sense making and framing in the European
member states. And indeed several studies – qualitative and quantitative in nature – point to

European Newsflows

the conclusion that the arguments and frames applied in national news outlets across Europe
are quite comparable (de Vreese, Peter, & Semetko, 2001; Eder & Kantner, 2000; Meyer,
2005; Peter, 2003; Peter & de Vreese, 2004; Peter, Semetko, & de Vreese, 2003; Semetko &
Valkenburg, 2000; Trenz, 2000, 2004). Nonetheless, two problems should be noted with
regard to the validity of these studies. First, a number of them are case studies (e.g., Meyer,
2005; Trenz, 2000) of specific debates in only a few member states and therefore of limited
use for drawing generalized conclusions. Second, the present studies of news coverage have
not – with the exception of the work of van de Steeg –included non-European news outlets
and cannot therefore exclude the not unlikely possibility that the consonance in frames and
arguments are in fact the consequence of a global trend in the reporting of a certain issue.

Next to analyses of the volume of coverage regarding EU institutions or topics in national
news outlets (also called vertical Europeanization of national public spheres) and the
argumentative consonance of national news media, a third dimension of Europeanization of
national public spheres can be observed, as authors like van de Steeg (2006) point out, namely
the degree to which the national media outlets notice relevant events and debates taking place
in other member states (horizontal Europeanization). As national government officials
determine most of the decisions taken by the European Union in the European council by
applying the consensus principle, it is arguably relevant to be informed about political and
social developments in all EU member states that determine the negotiation positions of the
representatives of national governments involved in the Council. However, until now there
have been only a few empirical cross sectional studies of the communicative linkages
between member states, which are mostly of descriptive nature. Kevin (2003), for example,
compares the relative and absolute coverage of the affairs of other member states in 15
countries, identifying Sweden, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands as the most
‘Europeanized’ public spheres.

There has been, however, extensive research with regard to the horizontal Europeanization of
the German public sphere. Koopmans and Pfetsch (2007) analyse the claim structure of the
German media, and conclude – similar to the results of Meyer (2005) – that the degree of
horizontal Europeanization depends on the Europeanization of the policy area in question.
Agricultural and monetary political issues are discussed with reference to other member states
more often than problems in policy fields that are still primarily regulated by national
authorities. With regard to the significance of actors representing other member states, Trenz
(2004) determines, in a broader study of the Europeanization of the German public sphere,

European Newsflows

that 12% of coverage dealing with the EU is driven by EU government officials not situated
in Germany.

Nevertheless, a large scale, cross sectional, elaborate study of the newsflows between the
European member states has not yet been conducted. This is probably due to a few empirical
and methodological obstacles. The first of these are the problems arising from the
precondition to conducting valid and reliable content analyses in at best 27 member states:
cultural differences between coders, translation issues and incomparability of news outlets, to
name just a few. Secondly, there is no benchmark with regard to the amount of coverage that
would be sufficient to call a national public sphere Europeanized. How much do we actually
need to know about the events and debates that take place elsewhere in Europe? Finally, there
is also a statistical problem: Since there is only limited space in the foreign news section of
newspapers and TV newscasts the prominence of one country influences the likelihood of
other countries making it into the news. If there is, for example, a major event in the UK,
there is little room to discuss current developments in Southern Greece. This means that the
observations are not independent of each other, a precondition for most types of explanatory
analyses techniques.

Despite the empirical and analytical hurdles, this study aims to map and explain the
newsflows in the European Union to visualize and understand the processes of horizontal
Europeanization. The data used has been obtained by the European Election Campaign Study
through content analyses of national news media in 25 of the 27 member states. The problem
of an undefined benchmark for horizontal Europeanization is addressed by using the
Europeanization of other member states as point of reference. Moreover, the focus of this
study is not merely to assess the absolute or relative volume of coverage of other member
states in one EU country but rather to identify clusters and gaps in the European news
network by applying social network analysis techniques. Network analysis not only permits a
comparison of the integration or lack thereof of member states in the network of newsflows,
but also the visualization of the structure of the network to ultimately arrive at a
comprehensive map of the horizontal Europeanization of national public spheres.

Determinants of international newsflows 
In order to explain and understand the attention which the mass media in one member state
devotes to events in other member states I draw on news value theory. According to this
approach, first described by Walter Lippman (see Kepplinger, 1998), the mass media function
as gate keepers who systematically select from an infinite number of events that could

European Newsflows

potentially be covered, those that show the highest cumulative news value (in terms of
relevance and appeal for the audience) (see also White, 1950). Galtung and Ruge (1965)
translate this general approach into the context of foreign news coverage to highlight and
explain the asymmetric attention news outlets all over the world devote to events in foreign
countries (see also Harcup & O'Neill, 2001). According to the authors, countries that belong
to the Western hemisphere are generally overrepresented on foreign news pages. Their
argument is linked to the cultural hegemony debate, initialized by the work of Schiller, that
took place in the 1970s and critically discussed the global cultural dominance of the US. In
their case study of the coverage of three foreign conflicts in the Norwegian press, Galtung and
Ruge provide empirical evidence suggesting that geographic, economical, and social
characteristics of a country indeed determine the amount of coverage it attracts in foreign
news outlets. Moreover, they conclude that the characteristics of the country covered also
influence the kind and slant of news the audience abroad receives. The less culturally,
economically and geographically close a country is to another, the more violent and negative
are the news appearing in national news outlets. However, as their study is not representative
in the sample of countries and conflicts, and the operationalization of key independent
variables, such as the elite status or cultural proximity of a country, remains vague, the
empirical evidence for their theory is less convincing than their theoretical ideas.

The notion that the characteristics of the country covered determine the extent to which it
appears in the news has been picked up by many scholars in the social sciences and lead to the
fruitful debate concerning the geography of news that took place in the 1970s and 1980s. In
order to investigate the degree mass media are truly dominated by a few elite nations
Rosengren & Rikardsson (1970) use extra media data to operationalize the independent
variables. This means they use external sources, in particular statistics of international trade,
and population size in explaining the variance in foreign coverage. The authors conclude that,
powerful countries – in terms of foreign trade and population size – are indeed noticed more
frequently than others. This has been an important step in news flow research, as Galtung and
Ruge relied on information gathered through content analysis only (Rosengren, 1970;
Rosengren & Rikardsson, 1974). Besides Rosengren many other scholars conducted research
using a variation of independent variables (for an overview see Wu, 2000). In an effort to
systematize the extended body of literature, Wilke (1998) proposes a typology of 7
dimensions of relevant macro level variables that explain the variance in international
newsflows. These dimensions can be further distinguished into variables which describe the
characteristics of the country covered, and dyadic variables defining the proximity between

European Newsflows

the covered and the covering country, though not all of them have received an even amount of
attention in academic research (see Table 1).

European Newsflows

Table 1: Dimensions of determinants of international newsflows 
Dimension Independent Variable Empirical studies (selection)

Geographic features Size (Wilke, 1998)

Geographic proximity (dyadic) (Nnaemeka & Richstad, 1980;
Westerstahl & Johansson, 1994)

Location (continent) (Wanta, Golan, & Lee, 2004)

Political and economic system GDP / GDP per capita (Hagen, Berens, Zeh, & Leidner,
1998; Ishii, 1996; Rosengren &
Rikardsson, 1974)

Trade (dyadic) (Ahern, 1984; Robinson & Sparkes,

Colonial ties (dyadic) (Atwood, 1985; Galtung & Ruge,
1965; Skurnik, 1981)

Infrastructure Presence of satellites, news (Ishii, 1996; Wu, 2003)
agencies, foreign correspondents

Media system Methods of news gathering, (Wallis & Baran, 1990)
number of news outlets
(characteristics of the covering

Journalism Role perception of journalists (Wallis & Baran, 1990)
(characteristics of the covering

Characteristics of the audience/ Common official language (Hagen et al., 1998; Kim & Barnett,
cultural proximity (dyadic) 1996)

Diplomatic proximity (dyadic) (Westerstahl & Johansson, 1994)

Characteristics of the event Valence, Surprising, Consonance, (Galtung & Ruge, 1965)

The drawback for most of these studies, however, is the limited sample size on the macro
level. With only a handful of countries under investigation, the variance in the independent
variables is so restricted that a fully reliable explanatory analysis is not possible. Larger
studies of ten or more countries, on the other hand, struggle with the question of how to
European Newsflows

validly measure the dependent and independent variables in a multi-cultural context. To give
an example, Kim and Barnett (1996) use international circulation of national newspapers as
an indicator for global newsflows. The validity of this measure can be doubted though, as it
might not necessarily indicate the newsflows but rather the size of the expatriate migrant
group interested in news from their country of origin.

One of the few large scale, explanatory studies of international news flows is the study by
Hagen et al. (1998). The authors use data collected in the second UNESCO coordinated
foreign news study to identify the determinants of international newsflows, operationalized as
the share of news items about country A in country B compared to all foreign coverage. The
authors find two significant factors predicting the news flow between the two countries: The
first is a characteristic of the country covered, namely its power status. The authors
operationalize power status as a combination of economic power (indicated by its GDP),
military power (budget for defense), and scientific power (number of scientific publications
per year). In their study they show that the greater the power status of a country the higher is
its chance of being recognized by international news media. This correlation particularly
holds in the EU. Secondly, they identify a number of dyadic variables of significance to the
prediction of international newsflows, implying that not only do the characteristics of the
country that is being covered matter in determining the amount of coverage, but also a
combination of characteristics of both the covering and the covered country, among those
quite prominently the share of trade volume, a common official language and socioeconomic
similarity. This notion is in line with theoretical advances in the 1980s and 1990s. At this
point world system theory, which proclaims the domination of Western countries in the global
cultural flows was criticized for not acknowledging the cultural exchange taking place in
geographic centers like South America, Europe, or South Asia (Hardy, 2008). Accordingly,
the global structure of newsflows was no longer understood as a one-way street in which the
powerful dominate the smaller and poorer countries, but rather as a network of unilateral and
multilateral flows in which globalizing as well as localizing mechanisms are of significant
importance (Nnaemeka & Richstad, 1980). As a result, regional clusters of countries that
intensively report about each other have been identified, for example in Africa (Atwood,
1985) or in the South Pacific region (Nnaemeka & Richstad, 1980). But as noted above, the
horizontal communicative linkages within Europe have not been in the focus of academic
research yet.

European Newsflows

Not all of the proposed independent variables are of equal importance when it comes to
explaining the patterns of horizontal Europeanization of the national public spheres of the
member states. Colonial background, for example, is of no particular relevance and
differences in infrastructure (presence of international news agencies, satellites, transmission
opportunities) are arguably too small to have a significant impact on the European
newsflows. vi

So, what are the factors that shape the structure of inter-European newsflows? To answer this
question, it is helpful to distinguish two network characteristics a) the volume of newsflows
between two member states and b) the centrality of a country in the network. Whereas the
first focuses on the relation of two nodes in the network, the second characteristic accounts
for the position of a country with regard to the structure of the entire network.

Volume of news flow between two countries 
According to Galtung and Ruge (1965), the relative share of newsflows between two
countries depends on their power status and proximity. In previous research four dimensions
of the phenomenon proximity have been suggested: cultural proximity, geographic proximity,
historical links, and economic proximity (see Table 1).

Validly measuring cultural proximity is a challenging task. The indicators applied in previous
research reach from staff members employed in an embassy abroad (Westerstahl &
Johansson, 1994) to socioeconomic similarity (Hagen et al., 1998). In this study, affiliation to
a common language family is chosen as an indicator for cultural proximity. In Europe
belonging to the same language group implies that the people of the concerned countries
formed a cultural entity at an earlier stage in history. Some of those linguistic clusters still
demonstrate a collective identity, e.g. Scandinavia; Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. These
three countries, which form the Northern European language family cooperate closely
politically as well as economically vii . Moreover, the languages within one cluster are in some
cases so similar as to be mutually intelligible (e.g. Slavic languages, Romantic languages),
which has eased cultural exchange through the centuries. Accordingly, it can be assumed that
countries belonging to the same linguistic group report more about each other.

H1: The volume of newsflows within the same linguistic cluster is larger than between
different linguistic clusters.

European Newsflows

In previous research geographic proximity has been shown to have no significant influence on
global newsflows (Hagen et al., 1998). Due to its proclaimed theoretical relevance (Galtung &
Ruge, 1965) however, it is included in this study nevertheless as another potential explanatory
factor for the intensity of newsflows between countries.

H2: The smaller the geographical distance between two countries, the greater the
volume of newsflows.

There are many alternative ways to systematize the historic relations in Europe. The reasoning
behind the inclusion of measures of historic proximity in an explanatory model of
international newsflows is that past political alliances have influenced the economic and
cultural relations between states in question. In previous studies of international newsflows
historic proximity has often been operationalized as colonial background (e.g., Atwood 1985).
However, as pointed out earlier, colonialism as a measure of historic proximity is of little
relevance in the European context. In this paper, we use a different approach, namely to study
the impact of the most recent division of Europe by the Iron Curtain as a measure of historic
proximity. This division of Europe could be a significant factor in explaining the structure of
the network of newsflows in Europe, since cooperation between the blocs was kept to a
minimum during the period of the Cold War, whereas countries on either side of the Iron
Curtain were encouraged to interact with one another. This arguably had an effect on the
economic and cultural proximity between countries of the two blocs and therefore on the
perceived relevance of events taking place in the respective countries.

H3: Countries of the former Communist bloc / West European bloc are more likely to
cover countries from the same bloc.

Finally, the economic relations between two countries themselves should be considered in
order to explain their mutual newsflows. The more intensively a state economy is linked to a
foreign state economy, the more relevant events in this particular country become (Hagen et
al., 1998).

H4: The greater the exchange of goods and services between two countries, the
greater is the volume of newsflows.

The second phenomenon is, in network analysis terminology, a “node characteristic”, namely
the centrality of a node in the network. Centrality depends – according to news value theory –
on the economical and political power status of the country. The more important a country
European Newsflows

appears to be, the more attention will the mass media in other countries devote to events
taking place in that particular country. This influences its integration in the network in a
positive manner. In accordance with previous research (e.g. Hagen, et al., 1998; Ishii, 1996;
Rosengren & Rikardsson, 1974) the following hypotheses can be formulated.

H5: The greater the economical power of a country, indicated by its GDP, the greater
is its centrality in the European news network.

H6: The greater the political power of a country, indicated by its contribution to the
EU budget and the number of representatives in the EU parliament, the greater is its
centrality to the European news network.

Besides these traditional determinants of foreign coverage as introduced and discussed above,
we are interested in the predictive power of actual integration in the EU with regard to the
integration of a member state in the European news network. To our knowledge, the influence
of regional political cooperation on newsflows has not been tested before. However, it can be
argued that the efforts of the European Union to integrate member states economically and
culturally affect the cultural and economical proximity of the members over time. Hence, the
longer a country participates in the European Union, the better it is connected to other
member states and therefore increasingly central to the European network of newsflows.

H7: The longer the membership of a country in the European Union, the higher is its
centrality in the European news network.

In order to investigate the structure of the horizontal communicative linkages between
European member states, a network of newsflows is mapped using Multidimensional Scaling
(MDS), analyzed by applying the tools of social network analysis and explained using
regression analysis.

The analysis is based on content analysis data provided by the European Parliament Election
Campaign Study as part of the PIREDEU framework. In this cross sectional research all news
items on the front page, a randomly selected additional page, and all stories about the EU viii
from at least two major national newspapers, as well as all news items in two national TV
news broadcasts from all European member states have been systematically analyzed ix .

European Newsflows

However, the Danish and Finnish data is not considered in this paper, as the data collection
has not been completed in these countries yet.

The field period included the 21 days before the European parliamentary elections in that
particular member state, which means that there is a two to three day deviance between the
countries, as the elections were spread over a period of three days across Europe. Observing
horizontal Europeanization during a parliamentary election campaign instead of a random
point in time has two distinctive advantages: 1) The general amount of EU coverage is
generally higher during periods preceding elections x (see Gerhards, 2002), which means that
the phenomenon can be observed more easily and 2) the Parliament is constituted by popular
vote in all member states, implying that the political developments in all member states that
influence voter choice are of comparable relevance, which reduces the chances of an event
driven bias. The disadvantage of this choice of field period, on the other hand, is that the
results cannot be generalized to other periods.

The content analysis was conducted by 77 coders trained and supervised by academic staff in
Amsterdam (NL) and Exeter (UK). To assure intercoder reliability all trainers participated in
an inter-coder trainer reliability test that yielded satisfactory results and two of the
Amsterdam coder trainers were present during the coder training in Exeter. The intercoder
reliability with regard to the variables used in this study is reasonably high. In a reliability test
conducted before the start of the coding Krippendorfs alpha was 0.70 for the Exter group of
coders and 0.65 for the coders located in Amsterdam for the main dependent variable in this


Dependent Variables 
The network of newsflows is constructed by applying Multidimensional scaling calculated on
basis of the amount of stories published in country A that cover events country B xi as a
measure of proximity. To account for the variation in outlet length and number of outlets per
country the data is weighted to create an even amount of news stories per country for the
purpose of this study.

European Newsflows

Table 2: Number of news stories by covering country (weighted)
Austria X 4 7 0 3 15 6 18 1 19 2 2 5 3 36 2 5 0 7 6 17 36 16 2 2
Belgium 6 X 24 28 4 12 17 8 17 14 12 5 7 6 59 8 34 10 15 26 79 3 10 9 0
Bulgaria 10 1 X 0 0 0 2 3 1 4 6 0 2 6 12 2 0 6 2 5 10 5 3 9 0
Cyprus 0 0 1 X 0 0 2 0 13 2 0 0 2 0 14 9 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 2
Czech Republic 15 3 13 17 X 15 11 14 1 12 4 2 9 22 10 3 5 17 5 8 138 10 6 0 5
Estonia 0 0 0 0 0 X 5 1 0 2 0 0 36 9 5 3 0 2 0 0 2 5 1 4 0
France 50 158 40 52 18 44 X 60 44 58 38 54 66 40 133 14 67 42 38 66 74 22 70 49 59
Germany 176 47 30 20 12 33 34 X 46 49 26 117 34 37 147 17 95 67 13 16 21 75 34 33 31
Greece 4 2 12 188 1 3 3 3 X 6 0 0 2 0 5 3 4 4 0 5 5 3 2 4 5
Hungary 21 1 0 2 4 0 5 10 0 X 2 0 2 0 5 2 0 4 0 10 12 8 2 7 0
Ireland 13 7 6 11 1 12 17 10 6 2 X 3 11 9 12 6 13 12 8 2 10 3 10 0 16
Italy 44 39 28 56 6 18 50 37 29 35 34 X 14 16 40 33 34 52 28 23 26 58 47 22 28
Latvia 2 1 4 4 0 36 6 5 1 0 6 2 X 37 2 5 2 6 0 0 2 0 0 16 2
Lithuania 4 7 12 6 0 36 3 12 0 2 2 0 50 X 14 6 7 12 0 6 10 2 0 7 2
Luxembourg 2 4 1 0 1 0 3 14 3 2 0 2 0 0 X 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 0 0
Malta 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 X 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Netherlands 13 49 6 7 5 6 20 15 8 12 6 8 7 6 24 2 X 8 10 2 10 8 9 13 9
Poland 19 5 1 4 5 9 14 22 0 17 6 0 9 28 17 5 25 X 10 6 24 12 5 9 7
Portugal 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 0 1 2 2 0 0 6 5 0 0 0 X 3 0 0 5 0 7
Romania 8 0 9 0 1 0 2 3 0 45 0 0 0 6 7 0 0 10 2 X 2 0 1 0 0
Slovakia 8 2 0 22 12 0 2 1 0 39 0 2 0 0 2 2 0 8 0 2 X 2 1 4 0
Slovenia 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 0 0
Spain 25 11 12 7 2 9 28 32 9 25 12 11 14 0 26 3 16 17 32 15 7 15 X 2 14
Sweden 2 2 0 6 0 9 14 5 3 6 0 0 25 3 5 3 2 8 0 0 5 5 3 X 0
UK 67 66 56 169 20 65 103 103 66 68 218 55 66 50 52 62 103 71 48 39 57 78 78 63 X
European Newsflows

The centrality of the member states in the network is assessed by calculating the flow
betweenness of each country. Flow betweenness is a node attribute that measures the number
of times a country is on the shortest path between two other countries weighted by the tie
strength. This measure accounts for the position of a node in the network relative to all other
nodes and hence the structure of the whole network. Flow betweeness is a popular indicator
for integration in a network in social network literature (Hanneman & Riddle, 2005).

Independent Variables 
Data concerning the country attributes serving as independent variables in the analysis:
volume of trade xii , geographic proximity xiii , affiliation to Eastern or Western Europe xiv ,
xv xvi xvii
language family , GDP , population , number of members in the European
parliament , length of EU membership, and contribution to the EU budget xix has been
collected from several official and academic sources. Following the Rosengren argument that
an explanatory variable of international newsflows should not rely on content analysis data
but rather on objectively observed country characteristics, all independent variables are
operationalized on the basis of extra media data.


Descriptive Analysis 
The network is constructed on the basis of Multidimensional Scaling. This analysis technique
transforms an adjacency matrix of a group of elements into a visual configuration of those
elements according to their relative proximity. The configuration of the countries in the
network of European newsflows is based on a matrix of mutual newsflows between two
countries. This means that the closer two countries are located in the network, the greater is
their relative exchange of newsflows.

Each node in the network represents one of the 25 member states under investigation. The
nodes are connected by dyads that represent the newsflows. The thicker the line that connects
two countries, the larger the amount of stories published in each country about events that
take place in the other.

Explanatory Analysis 
As noted above, one of the fundamental assumptions of OLS regression analysis - the
independence of observations - is violated in the case of the data under investigation in this

European Newsflows

study. Consequently, the explanatory analysis is calculated using QUAP (quadratic
assignment procedure) modeling specifically designed for network analysis. The method
accounts for the restrictions of network data (see Nagpaul, 2003). To address the
autocorrelation in the data, the significance levels of the effects are calculated by
bootstrapping. This means that the rows and columns of the dependent matrix are permuted
randomly in multiple analyses to create a random distribution which is used to test the
significance of the model and the estimators.


Descriptive analysis 
Figure 1 shows the network of European newsflows during the European Parliament election
campaign xx . The density of the network depicted is rather high: 93% of all potential links
between the member states exist in the symmetrized network. However, if only those links
that make up at least 3% of the share of all stories about other member states of the covering
countries are considered, the density is much lower. In that case only 33.8% of all potential
links are actually present in the network. This alludes to an asymmetric amount of attention
payed by national news outlets to other European member states. And indeed, when looking
at the configuration of the nodes in the networks, it becomes obvious that the four largest
member states (Germany, France, the UK, Italy) are located at the heart of the network and
appear to be well connected to all other member states. Around the center of the network we
find four states in intermediate distance to the midpoint: Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and
the Netherlands. The latter three, and three of the center countries (France, Germany, Italy),
are also the founding members of the European Union.

All other member states are located in the periphery of the network, mostly structured
according to their cultural and geographic proximity to each other. Remarkable is the
separation of the periphery in Eastern and Western Europe. If a horizontal line is drawn
through the middle of the network, almost all Eastern European countries are located on the
right of the network and the Western European countries can be found on the left. There are,
however, a few noteworthy exceptions. Slovenia is located between Spain, Italy, and Austria;
and is connected through stronger newsflows to Western European countries only. The news
outlets of Slovenia, as the only Eastern European country participating in the common
currency Euro, seem to have a clear focus on Western Europe. Austria, on the other hand, is
placed in the middle with regard to the East/West dimension.

European Newsflows

Figure 1: Network of newsflows (all stories)



Italy Germany
Greece Poland


Czech Republic


Lithuania Latvia



Sweden Romania

With regard to the relative proximity of countries in the periphery to each other, it can be
seen, that there are a few excpetionally tight links: these are between Slovakia and the Czech
Republic, Lithuania and Latvia, and Greece and Cyprus.

The newsflows depicted in Figure 1 are calculated on the basis of all news stories in the
sample. Figure 2, on the other hand, depicts the network of newsflows, if only those news
stories that explicitly refer to the European Union are considered.

European Newsflows

Figure 2: Network of newsflows (EU stories)


Slovenia Slovakia

Sweden Czech Republic





Ireland Bulgaria


Compared to the network calculated on the basis of all stories there are only a few small
differences. Poland has moved up to the group of countries that surround the center, implying
that the country is more central to the network if only EU stories are considered. Also, the
Eastern focus of Austria is even more obvious in the EU stories network. The country is not
longer located on the border between East and West but can be now found within a group of
East European countries. Interestingly, Portugal is also located among the Eastern European

Except for the link between Cyprus and Greece, the smaller regional clusters seem to be of
less importance when it comes to the structure of newsflows. The distance between Latvia and
Lithuania, as well as that between Slovakia and Czech Republic relative to other links in the
periphery of the network, is bigger in the second, EU-specific network.

European Newsflows

Explanatory analysis 

Due to the potential multicollinearity of the independent variables, in particular language
family and affiliation with Eastern Europe (a majority Post-Communist countries belong to
the Slavic language group), several models have been calculated to estimate the effect size
and significance of the independent variables (see Table 3) predicting the volume of
newsflows between member states. The first model includes trade relations, geographic
distance, and the East/West affiliation; in the second model the East/West affiliation is
replaced by language family affiliation. All of the above mentioned variables are included in
the third model, and the last model yields the results of a regression in which two key
attributes of the country covered (economic strength and population size) are controlled for.
As it becomes obvious from Table 3, East/West affiliation as well as language family
affiliation are significant if tested independently of each other. Belonging to the same
language family increases the predicted number of news stories by 8.1, sharing the same
political past accounts for 2.6 more news stories. This means that Hypotheses 1 and 2 are
supported by the analysis. However, if both factors are tested in the same model, the
East/West affiliation becomes insignificant. As pointed out earlier, this arguably due to the
high multicolliniarty of language group and East/West affiliation. Therefore, the first model,
and not the third model should be considered here.

Both trade and geographic proximity are significant in all models presented, implying that
Hyptheses 3 and 4 can also be accepted. A closer look at Model 4 reveals, however, that the
GDP of the country covered accounts to a large extent for the variance explained by mutual
trade. That being said, the influence of trade is still significant, even if the economic strength
of the country that is covered is controlled for.

Table 3: Unstandardized QUAP regression coefficients predicting dyadic newsflows
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4
Trade (in billions) 0.86** 0.82** 0.81** 0.15*
Geographic distance -0.003* -0.003* -0.003* -0.004**
Eastern Europe 2.60* 1.28 2.14
Language family 8.10** 7.64** 8.65**
GDP1 (covered c.) 3.65**
Population (covered c.)2 -0.35

Intercept 14.89 14.93 14.16 7.10
Adj. R2 0.171** 0.179** 0.178** 0.488**
2000 permutations, N=600; *:p<0.05; **:p<0.01; 1 in 100 quadrillions, 2 in millions

European Newsflows

Centrality of member states 
With regard to the explanation of the integration of the individual member states into the
network the results are less obvious (see Table 4). Taken by themselves (Model 1-4), all
independent variables are of statistical significance when it comes to explaining the centrality
of a node in the network. This supports the results of the visual examination of the news

Table 4: Unstandardized regression coefficients predicting flowbetweeness of EU
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 Model 6
Population (in mio) 0.38* -1.27
GDP1 1.53* 4.01
EU MPs 0.36* 0.52
EU integration 0.45** 0.20
Budget contribution 0.002** -0.0004

Intercept 19.40 23.15 16.78 16.61 20.11 11.62
F test 5.844* 7.802* 5.821* 7.056** 7.205** 1.862
Adj. R2 0.136 0.191 0.135 0.171 0.175 0.128
1000 permutations, N=25; *:p<0.05; **:p<0.01, in 100 quadrillions

However, if all factors are tested simultaneously, none of them is significant. Moreover, two
of the factors (population and budget contribution) are predicted to have a reversed effect
direction. Nevertheless, given the small case number (N=25), and the multicolleniarity of the
independent variables the reliability of the inclusive model is arguably low. Therefore, we can
cautiously conclude that hypotheses 5 to 7 are supported by the analysis, acknowledging that
some of the correlations found might be spurious.

Conclusion and discussion 
In the discussion of the theoretical aspects of this study it was suggested that the horizontal
Europeanization of national public spheres of EU member states is an essential dimension of
the European public sphere today. As such, it is essential to understand the determinants that
shape the patterns of newsflows across Europe. Which countries are given attention by the
mass media of other European member states? And, potentially even more relevant, where are
the gaps in the network of European newsflows?

News value theory, in particular the strain of academic literature that focuses on selection and
publication mechanisms in foreign news, has been proposed as a theoretical framework to
understand the structure of the network of European newsflows. An inventory of theoretical
and empirical work in this field has lead to the identification of two clusters of factors that

European Newsflows

determine newsflows between countries: a) determinants measuring the economical and
political power of the countries covered and b) measures of the proximity (geographic,
cultural, economic, and historic) of the covering and covered country.

The findings of the present study demonstrate that all of the suggested factors are of relevance
in explaining the structure of the network of newsflows in the European Union. The results
imply that, although the network of newsflows appears to be very dense at first glance, the
centrality of a country in the network and the volume of newsflows between two member
states depends to a large degree on the factors mentioned above. Moreover, if the weak links,
representing newsflows of less than 3% of the coverage of other EU member states, are
disregarded, the network of newsflows is in fact quite patchy: only one third of the potential
links in the network actually exist in this case. In other words, events in a majority of the
European member states go unnoticed in a large part of Europe.

But what does it mean if events or debates taking place in one of the smaller, less powerful
countries are being ignored by the mass media in almost all other EU member states? To give
a specific example, over a period of 3 weeks, there were only 6 news stories about the Baltic
countries in the Austrian news outlets in the sample. At the same time there were 176 news
items about events transpiring in Germany.

This example clearly demonstrates that the asymmetric representation of the world in foreign
news coverage, first criticized by Galtung and Ruge (1965) and repeatedly observed in
subsequent empirical research (e.g., Ahern, 1984; Hagen et al., 1998; Ishii, 1996) also applies
in the European case. Even within the Western world the strong economical and political
players are covered much more prominently in the foreign press. And indeed, as the analysis
in this paper has demonstrated, the UK, Germany, France, and Italy can be found at the heart
of the European network of newsflows.

What does this mean for the state of the European public sphere and its implications for the
functioning of democracy in the European Union? The answer to this question is twofold.
First, if we are only exposed to the ongoing debates and events of the largest member states
and are not informed about relevant developments in the other member states, we lack
understanding of the motivations and positions of the representatives of those member states
at the European level. And even though we are not eligible to vote for the members of the
European parliament for that particular country, nor the political staff that is sent to negotiate
in the European Council, their decisions impact policy making for the whole of Europe. Being

European Newsflows

uninformed about the problems debated in other member states also precludes any
opportunity to participate in the discussion that is leading up to a decision in the end.

The second implication we would like to allude to is the bias of the news favoring the most
powerful countries. If the arguments and pronounced interests of the political staff of the
largest political countries are being heard all across Europe, the voices of the most powerful
political players become doubly amplified. This raises concerns with regard to the
representation of the interests of smaller countries. If they are not debated in a significant part
of the European public sphere, the chances of political proposals supporting the interests of
the smallest member states entering the European policy cycle are arguably lower. Thus,
Kraus’ (2004) concerns with regard to an underrepresentation of minority interests due to the
lack of a common European public sphere, are in fact legitimate, if only the horizontal
Europeanization of national public spheres is considered.

A second interesting finding is the significance of cultural and geographic proximity to the
volume of newsflows between two countries. In previous research (for example Hagen et al.,
1998) geographic proximity has been dismissed as insignificant to the variance in newsflows
between countries. In the light of the present results, this might be due to some strong inter-
continental links (for example USA – Europe). If the structure of foreign news within one
continent is being investigated, as in the case of the present study, the geographic distance
turns out to be of statistical significance. Theoretically, this is quite comprehensible. Events
taking place in a country close by (for example an environmental hazard, or economical
downturn) that might influence local developments are arguably more relevant to the audience
in a neighboring country. There is, however, an alternative explanation for the correlation.
Geographic distance could also be understood as a proxy for cultural or historical proximity,
as most neighboring countries in Europe share a long history of military and cultural
exchange. Therefore, this factor could illuminate a dimension of cultural proximity that is
neglected by the other two indicators of cultural/historical proximity included in the
regression analysis in this study: Language family and affiliation to post-communist or
Eastern Europe. Language group affiliation indicates cultural bonds that date back far into
history and therefore indicates the long term dimension of cultural proximity. Being a post-
communist country or not, on the other hand, is a rather short term attribute in terms of
development of culture. If the cultural exchanges over the past centuries that go hand in hand
with a shared border are interpreted as an indicator of intermediate-term cultural proximity in
Europe, the factor geographic proximity fills a gap in a longitudinal operationalization of
cultural proximity.
European Newsflows

The division of the European news network into East and West, especially when it comes to
the periphery, is another interesting finding of this study. Looking at the network of
newsflows, we might even wonder whether we should actually speak of two European public
spheres: an Eastern and a Western European. There are, however, two noticeable exceptions.
Slovenia, a post-communist country, which has adapted rapidly to the economic standards of
Western Europe and is as the only Eastern European country allowed to participate in the
common currency, is strongly linked to the Western domain when it comes to newsflows.
Austria, on the other hand, as a country that has deep cultural and economic ties with Eastern
Europe (established during the Habsburg monarchy), has strong communicative links with the
East. So, does Western Europe have to rely on Austria to explain the developments in the
post-communist member states as virtually the only bridge to the East in the European
network of newsflows? Arguably yes, if the present state of integration of the national public
spheres is in question. But the division of Europe with regard to newsflows might not be
permanent. The duration of membership in the EU has proved to be a significant factor in
explaining the centrality of a country in the network. Since all the post-communist countries
have joined the EU in the past decade, they might become better integrated in the years to

In this study novel methods have been applied to generate a deeper understanding of the state
of horizontal Europeanization of national public spheres of the member states. By applying
network analysis techniques, it has been possible not to only create a visualization of the
newsflows but also to provide a valid method to assess the integration or centrality of a
country in the network. That being said, the method also has a few pitfalls. First of all, it is
impossible to do complex modeling applying network analyses software. The tools to do
network analysis are still being developed and are not integrated in standard statistical
packages yet. This means that there are also limitations with regard to testing relevant
assumptions for regression analysis such as the absence of multicollinearity, which raises
concerns about the validity of the inferential statistics presented in this study.

It can, however, be argued that testing the statistical significance of the results is not as
important in this particular case, as no inferences for a general population are being made.
Since almost the whole population of countries is included in the dataset, the study does not
attempt to generalize on the macro level. And, as previously noted, as the period in time that
is being investigated has not been chosen randomly, neither is the dataset representative for a
specific time phase. That being said, the development of horizontal Europeanization over time
might be an interesting aspect to investigate in the future. How does the network of
European Newsflows

newsflows develop over time? Which historical/political events cause structural changes in
the network? Another worthwhile focus in future research of the inter-European newsflows
between member states could be to look at the prominence of actors from other EU member
states in the national news. How often do they appear? Can they make their voice heard? And
how are they evaluated?

In this study the coverage of other European member states in the period leading up to the
European elections has been investigated. The discouraging conclusion is that even in the
context of such a major European event involving all member states evenly the network of
news is rather patchy. When it comes to the degree to which the mass media notice events in
other member states, Europe appears to be divided: between East and West, and between a
few economically and politically powerful countries that are subject to coverage across
Europe and a majority of member states which are only noticed by mass media in their
neighboring countries. Hence, the horizontal Europeanization of national public spheres can
be considered to still be at a rather low level, or to put it bluntly: we found hardly any
evidence for the existence of common and coherent European public sphere at all. Arguably,
the upward trend in the Europeanization of national public sphere with regard to vertical
Europeanization, as established by work of Trenz (2000), Koopmans (2004), or Meyer (2005)
does not hold for the horizontal dimension of the phenomenon. This implies that the European
citizen might become increasingly familiar with the European polity setup and politics taking
place in Brussels, but remains ignorant of the national events and debates that motivate the
position of representatives of the governments of other member states at the European level.

Besides its relevance for the European public sphere debate, this study also contributes to the
discussion concerning the structure of global newsflows. Previous research in the field often
takes on a global perspective, either arguing that a group of countries dominates the rest of the
world, or, on the contrary, that the global newsflows are multilateral and news is organized in
regional centers (Wu 2003). In the present study we have put the microscope on such a
cluster, namely Europe, and established that the exchange of news within a cluster is far from
being homogenous. Instead we found, that the very same mechanisms that determine global
newsflows are also of relevance in explaining the asymmetries in regional newsflows. There
is, however, an interesting difference: Cultural and geographic proximity is of much higher
importance, compared to the explanatory power of economic factors. Geographic proximity
was even found to be of no statistical significance in global newsflows, whereas we found a
high level of significance of the factor. Potentially, this is a consequence of smaller
differences in economic and political power within a region compared to the global context.
European Newsflows

This means, that the particular nature of the network under study needs to be taken into
account. When the power relations between countries are balanced, the mutual interest of two
countries depends on their cultural and historic relations.

Thirty years ago Rosengren and Windahl (1989) published a study that investigated the
cultivation effects of an asymmetric representation of the world in the media. The authors
asked Swedish school children to name important countries of the world, and found that most
children knew the United States, and Europe, but hardly anybody mentioned African or Asian
counties, especially those children who were frequent users of the media. What would the
map of Europe look like, if we asked school children all across the continent to draw it today?
Based on the findings of this study we can assume that the map would differ from state to
state. Each time it would contain the most important countries: Germany, UK, France and
Italy. But apart from that we would find that the ‘picture in the heads’ citizens have of Europe
is as scattered as the depiction of Europe we find in our newspapers every day. The portrait of
Europe is a mosaic, like the Union itself.

European Newsflows

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The study is part of the Piredeu project that integrates various studies regarding the European Parliament
Elections 2009
The frontpage, a randomly selected page and all stories concerning the EU.
As of 8.10.2009. The data collection is still in progress in two countries.
According to a keyword search (“European Public Sphere”) in Google Scholar, conducted 4.10.2009
In this paper the term public sphere refers to a ‘media constructed’ public sphere. Following the argumentation
of Schulz (1997) this implies that the mass media are regarded as the constitutive element of a public sphere of a
political community.
Others, like the characteristics of the event covered cannot be considered in the present study, to avoid too
much complexity.
To organize this cooperation they formed a regional intergovernmental organization, the Nordic Council, after
the Second World War.
viii All stories that mentioned the EU(or synonyms) at least twice.
ix 'The outlets selected are: Austria: ZiB 19.30 (ORF1); Aktuell 19.20 (ATV), Der Standard, Die Presse, Neue
Kronen Zeitung; Belgium Het Journaal 19.00 (VRT),'VTM-Nieuws 19.00 (VTM), JT Meteo 19.30 (La Une), Le
Journal 19.00 (RTL-TV)', De Morgen, De Standard, Het Laatste Nieuws', La Derniere Heure, La Libre Belgique,
Le Soir; Bulgaria: 24 Chasa, Dnevnik, Trud, bTV 19.00, BNT kanal 1 20:00; Cyprus: RIK1 20.00, Ant1 20.15,
Fileleytheros, Haravgi, Simerini; Czech Republic: Udalosti 19.00, Televizni noviny 19.30, Blesk, Mlada Fronta,
Pravo; Denmark: Nyhederne 19.00 (TV2), TV-avisen 21.00 (DR 1), Ekstra Bladet, Morgenavisen
Jyllandsposten, Politiken; Estonia: Aktuaalne kaamera 21.00 ( ETV), Reporter 19.00 (Kanal2), Eesti Ekspress
Wochenblatt, Postimees, SL Öhtuleht, Finland: Tv-uutiset ja sää 20.30 (YLE TV1), Kymmenen uutiset 22:00
(MTV3), Aamulehti, Helsingin Sanomat, Iltasanomat, France: Le Journal 20.00 (TF1), Le Journal 20.00 (F2),
Le Figaro, Le Monde, Libération; Germany: Tagesschau 20.00 (ARD), Heute 19.00 (ZDF), RTL aktuell 18.45
(RTL), 18.30 (SAT1), Bild, FAZ, SZ; Greece: 20.00 Mega, Eleftherotypia, Kathimerini, Ta Nea; Hungary:
Hírádo 20:30 (M2), Esti Híradó 18:30 (RTL Klub), Blikk, Magyar Nemzet, Nepszabadsag; Ireland: Nine News
21.00 (RTEI1), TV3 News 17:30 (TV3), Irish Independent, The Irish Times, The (Daily) Star; Italy: TG1 20.00
(RaiUno), TG5 20.00 (Canale5), Il Corriere della Sera, Il Giornale, La Repubblica; Latvia: Panoramas 20:30
(LTV), T Zinas 20:00 (LNT), Diena, Latvijas Avize, Vesti segodnya, Lithuania: Panorama 20.30 (LTV), TV3
žinios 18.45 (TV3), Lietuvos rytas, Respublika, Vakaro zinios; Luxembourg: De Journal 19.30 (RTL), Tageblatt,
Voix du Luxembourg, Wort (D), Malta: L-Abarijiet TVM 20.00 (TVM), One News 19.30 (One TV), Nazzjon,
Orizzont, The Times (engl.); Netherlands: RTL Nieuws 19.30 (RTL), NOS Journaal 20.00, De Telegraaf, De
Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad; Poland: Fakt, Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Wiadomoci 19:30 (TVP1),
FAKTY 19:00 (TVN); Portugal: Telejornal 20:00 (RTP1), Jornal Nacional (20:00) (TVI), Correio da Manha,
Jornal de Notícias, Publico, Romania: Evenimentul Zilei, Jurnalul National, Libertatea, Telejurnal 20:00(TVR1),
Stirile 19.00 (Pro TV), Slovakia: Spravy 19:30 (STV 1), Televizne Noviny 19:00 (TV Markiza), Daily Pravda,
Nový cas, Sme/Práca; Slovenia: Dnevnik 19.00 (TV S1), 24UR 19.00 (POP TV), Dnevnik, Slovenske Novice,
The Delo; Spain: Telediario-2 21.00 (TVE1), Telecinco 20.30 (Tele5), Noticias2 21.00 (Antena3), ABC, El
Mundo, El Pais; Sweden: Rapport 19.30 (TV2), Nyheterna 18.25 (TV4), Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter, Svenska
Dagbladet; UK: BBC1 News at 10, ITV News at 10, Daily Telegraph (Sunday: Sunday Telegraph), Guardian
(Sunday: The Observer), Sun
Referenda draw a much higher media attention than regular elections though.
xi The coders were asked to assign each news item to a particular country or geographic entity by answering the
question: “Where does the story or the actions it depicts (mainly) take place (in terms of prominence in the story
or length)?”, only those stories that concerned other European member states were included in the analysis (N:

European Newsflows

xii Added monetary value of traded goods and services as reported by the importing country in 2008. Extracted
from Eurostat 1.10.2009
xiii Operationalized as the distance between the capitals.
xiv According to membership in the Warsaw pact.
xv Assigned by applying the typology provided by Harding and Sokal (1988).
xvi As reported by the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2008 edition
xvii Extracted from Eurostat 1.10.2009
xviii Members of parliament after the Elections 2009 per member state. As reported on the homepage of the
European parliament:
xix Contributions to the budget in 2008 as reported by the Commission:
xx For the purpose of visualization the data is symmetricized by calculating the average of newsflows from A to
B and B to A. Symmetric data is a necessary condition for visualizations on a metric level.