ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

NEWS MANAGEMENT AT THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEN UNION When personal relationships matter

Chiara Valentini
Aarhus Universitet
Bo Laursen
Aarhus Universitet
Chiara Valentini
Aarhus Universitet
Open Panel

Abstract

Communication scholars interested in agenda-setting theory have mostly investigated what organizations and/or individuals want to communicate and how. They have, however, very limitedly focused on analyzing the processes behind such selection, that is, the dynamics of news management. Communication in the public sector has largely been ignored, even though it poses unique problems (Gelders & Ihlen, 2010; Graber, 2003; Lee, 2001, 1999; Heise, 1985). Within the European context, only a limited number of studies have dealt with EU institutions and their communication management (Valentini, 2008, 2007) and even less have focused on the activities and communication practices of the EU institutions’ information officers (Laursen & Valentini, 2010; Spanier, 2010). The aim of our paper is to examine how press officers of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union manage external communications with journalists. Specifically we intend to look at the level of professionalization of their news management and their strategies and approaches in order to understand how the Council’s media stakeholders are prioritized, how the press officers decide which elements of an issue should be highlighted and framed, to which extent the press officers are familiar with individual journalists’ interests and how they handle news management vis-à-vis to the mission, vision and values of the Council and how they deal with the interests of the political actors represented in the Council. This study is based on qualitative content analysis of face-to-face interviews with seven out of ten press officers of the Council and on participant observation.