The Determinants of Eastern Europe coverage in German national newspapers
In my PhD project I want to answer the question about the determinants that influence the Eastern European coverage in national German news papers. The aim will be to overcome the limitations of event-oriented and context-oriented approaches off international news coverage that deal with determinants at different levels. With the aid of the Structura tion Theory by Giddens I will integrate both approaches, the analysis of personal decision-making processes in contrast to the appraisal of coun try traits and their interrelations. This theory combines social structures and human agency. Structures – divided in rules and resources – are pro duced and reproduced in social action and interaction. This study will examine how structures at different levels enable or constrain the (inter)acting of correspondents. Three levels of structures can be distin guished: cognitive, organizational and interorganizational ones accord ing to the generally understanding of defining levels. Furthermore, the direction of influences between these levels will be analyzed. The ques tion will be at which level certain determinants start to affect the news content. Concretely, how deal correspondents with sources from differ ent levels and what are their chances to get covered? A multi-method design will be used to analyze the connection between these several levels of structures affecting foreign news content. A content analysis of specific event types identifies the variations in deal ing with an issue in different newspapers. Afterwards the responsible journalists will be confronted with these distinctive results in semi-struc tured interviews. They will be asked to legitimize their selection news content in comparison to the choices of competing newspapers. Additionally, participant observations in the correspondents’ editorial offices, and interviews with the international news editors of home editorial offices will enrich and validate my findings.