Who Follows Whom? Investigating Agenda Dynamics between Parties and the Media over the course of an Electoral Campaign

Heinz Brandenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study provides a first step toward filling a gap in our understanding of the sources of issue salience and of the ability of political actors to manipulate the dimensions of social choice. It investigates how daily issue agendas of political parties and the news media (press and television) affected each other during the 1997 U.K. general election campaign. Using a time-series cross-section design (including data on nine different policy dimensions), ordinary least squares regressions with panel-corrected standard errors show that TV news broadcasts responded systematically to preceding issue selection by both the Labour party and the Conservatives. While the press seemed to respond predominantly to stimuli by the Conservatives, none of the parties were influenced in their agenda choices by any of the media outlets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-54
Number of pages21
JournalHarvard International Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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