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Polish Media System in a Comparative Perspective

Media in Politics, Politics in Media


Bogusława Dobek-Ostrowska

A media system does not exist in a vacuum. It develops and grows within social, political and economic systems. They interact with and influence one another, as well as stimulate each other’s development. The main subject of this work is the dynamically evolving Polish media system, which is under the influence of institutions and external stakeholders. Thanks to this, it is easier to understand that the "crossroads" is not only a problem of the Polish media system, but a global one. For this reason, a comparative perspective is employed. Three chapters help to provide an answer to research questions dedicated to political parallelism and journalistic professionalization. The analysis would be limited and unrepresentative if the book enclosed it with one country's border, omitting the broad global, European and Centro-European context.

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3 Mediatization and politics coverage in media


Our considerations should be opened by an explanation of the two key categories shaping the importance of the media in the political process – mediatization of politics and media coverage. They form the broad context for the issue of political bias defined and analyzed in the previous chapter. The process of mediatization of politics leads to media coverage which is constructed in a certain way, and it reflects the degree of political bias of the medium – high, medium, low, or a lack thereof. Therefore, it can be said that the coverage of politics is a practical expression of the political entrenchment of the media. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of media content allows for the empirical verification of the presence of bias, as well as the determination of its scale (see: Fig. 3.1).

Fig. 3.1: Consequences of mediatization of politics

Source: Author.

Thus, these three concepts: the mediatization of politics, the coverage of politics, and the bias of the media or its lack thereof, are inextricably linked in the context of the participation of the media in politics.

3.1 Mediatization and its consequences for news media coverage

3.1.1 The concept and dimensions of mediatization of politics

Mediation and mediatization have become useful concepts in media research in the last fifty years. However, as Strömbäck (2008:228) points out, they are more often used than defined. Michalczyk (2009:19–23) is one of the...

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