The personalization of mediated political communication: A review of concepts, operationalizations and key findings

Peter Van Aelst*, Tamir Sheafer, James Stanyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

322 Scopus citations

Abstract

Personalization has become a central concept in discussions on how political news, and election coverage in particular, has changed over time. The general belief is that the focus of news coverage has shifted from parties and organizations to candidates and leaders. However, the evidence is far from conclusive. This is due in no small part to a lack of conceptual clarity and an absence of common operationalizations which are a major cause of the unclear or conflicting conclusions about the personalization of political news. This article seeks to remedy this shortcoming. It presents a model for comprehending the personalization of political news based on a review of relevant studies. The article makes a series of recommendations for how the concept might be operationalized for an analysis of media content in order to enable cross-nationally comparative research.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • content analysis
  • personalization
  • political news
  • politicians
  • privatization

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