To What Extent are EU Citizens Visible in the European Public Sphere?
A number of studies and several large-scale empirical research projects have focused on the European public sphere and analysed the visibility of EU news and EU governmental actors in the news coverage (e.g., Boomgaarden et al. 2013; Peter and de Vreese 2004; Wessler et al. 2008; Koopmans et al. 2010) (see also Chapter 4.2.3). While some of these studies have highlighted the importance of EU citizens and the role of communication between the EU and its citizens in their theoretical framework (e.g., Meyer 1999; Kleinen-von Königslöw 2010; Gripsrud 2007; Trenz and Eder 2004a; Maier and Rittberger 2008b; Statham 2008), there is hardly any systematic empirical evidence on the visibility of EU citizens in the news coverage on EU governance (see Chapter 4.3. for more details). The aim of this short introductory chapter to the empirical part of this study is to answer the first research question that constitutes the basis for further analyses: To what extent are EU citizens, but also European and national EU citizens visible in the European public sphere (RQ1)?
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