Coverage of EU politics vs. coverage of national politics
June 12, 2010 9:30 PM Subscribe
Fellow EU Mefites, how would you compare the coverage of EU politics to the coverage of domestic politics in your national media?
posted by Anything to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Considering that the lives of the citizens of EU countries are influenced roughly as much by the decisions of the EU as they are by the decisions of their national political institutions, I'm puzzled by how limited and irregular the coverage of EU politics in the Finnish press is compared to the coverage of Finnish domestic politics. The press not only gives a lot more time to domestic issues, but the coverage is entirely different in nature as well: every day we get interviews of and statements from representatives and officials who a) are directly or indirectly accountable to voters and b) have power over the issue in question. These are contrasted to statements from an opposition of some kind.
You know, basic daily political coverage? Except that we get essentially none of that for daily EU politics, and I'm not sure I understand why. The local member of the Council of the EU goes unchallenged, as do the MEPs and the leaders of the parties who nominate them. I suppose it's possible that reporters here simply do not understand who has which means to affect decisions in the EU and what are the channels through which voters (i.e. most of the audience) might have influence over those people (and thus an interest in paying attention). I understand that the structure of responsibility is more complicated than on the national level, but I don't see how it's qualitatively different in a way that prevents asking the same sorts of questions and pitting the politicians against each other like the press is supposed to.
As much as American press gets bashed these days, their coverage of their own federal-level issues seems to be, uh, miles ahead of our EU coverage. Not speaking languages other than Finnish and English, my only comparison within the EU is the British press, but I haven't followed it very much.
What I want to know is whether EU journalism is weak across the EU or just here in Finland. Any other observations on EU vs. domestic coverage are very much welcome as well.