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The Elites of the Media versus the Elites of Politics in Poland

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Edited By Zbigniew Oniszczuk, Dagmara Głuszek-Szafraniec and Mirosława Wielopolska-Szymura

This book is the fruit of scientific research conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods regarding the mutual relations between the media elites and the political elites in Poland. The authors of this work focus on several virtuous aspects of this issue: on the characteristic model of opinion-forming journalism, also on the differences presented by female and male journalists in the assessment of the relations between politicians and journalists, as well as on the differences between local and national level of mass media in terms of external and internal autonomy of journalists, next on the importance of opinion-forming media in the process of creating a sense of political subjectivity in their recipients, and finally on the phenomenon of politicization of cultural issues in opinion-forming weeklies in Poland.

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Introduction

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The shape of modern democracy increasingly rests upon the nature of interdependencies connecting political elites with elites derived from the mass media. This thesis has been borne out since the mid-1990s, when the concept of political parallelism entered the world of media and political literature, drawing attention to the growing scale and importance of interrelations between the two elites, stimulated by the process of progressive dependence of the political sphere on the mass media. In the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, this process is additionally determined by the exacerbating polarization of the political scene, which is reflected in the political polarization of the mass media. Therefore, it can be assumed that mutual relations between the political elites and media elites create a specific culture of reciprocal contacts, on the one hand, characterized by a rational desire to dominate and use the other party instrumentally, and on the other, in the emotional sense, based on the feelings of suspicion, mistrust, or even hostility. Such a situation would make it difficult to build a socially justifiable political culture of mutual communication, taking into account the different principles and logics underlying the other party’s actions. This would also have a negative impact on the nature of political culture existing in a given country and society, which could undermine the proper functioning of the democratic system.

Is this actually the case? Only empirical research that verifies the assumptions can provide a convincing answer to this question. This volume...

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