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Mediatization of Public Services

How Organizations Adapt to News Media

Thomas Schillemans

Public services are increasingly delivered by organizations operating at arms’ length of governments. These organizations occupy one third of the total news and spend huge sums of money on media management. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis of how public services are affected by their media environment. It describes how public service providers have become mediatized: have adapted their structures and processes to media pressure. The adaptation is profound; some managers use 25% of their time on media and others state that «from day one, how to get it through the media is on your mind». This normative issue of media influence is approached on the basis of extensive international research. At display is a collection of inside stories from the daily encounters between media and public service providers.

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Appendix: Research notes

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This book is based on a research project that effectively started in 2008 and ran until 2012. We have used different research methods and the data have been gathered at various times. The reason for combining different methods is the exploratory nature of the research project. The combination of approaches was expected to bring more new insights than a more focused approach with just one method. This appendix will describe and shortly explain the different research methods that have been used. Data set 1: Trends in Media Coverage 1999-2011 Aim To investigate long term trends in media coverage of public service providers. Method Quantitative content analysis. Research technique Newspaper articles were searched in LexisNexis and Factiva, focusing on a se- lection of search items, both in the ‘titles’ of articles as in the ‘openings’. Timing The analysis was initially done in February-March 2009 through LexisNexis for Dutch and English organizations. The Australian organizations were added in September 2009 via Factiva. The research initially covered the 1999-2008 period and was updated for 2009-2011 in June and September 2012. Selections This study started out as an expanded replication study of Deacon & Monk’s (2001a, b) earlier study of media coverage of British quango’s. They had used a number of search items and showed how some organizations received most me- 166 dia attention and that the quality papers would provide most coverage of public service providers. This research has replicated the search items for the UK and used functional equivalents for the British newspapers...

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