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The mediatization of Chilean political elites: Dynamics of adaptation, autonomy and control

Orchard Rieiro, Ximena (2015) The mediatization of Chilean political elites: Dynamics of adaptation, autonomy and control. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis explores the relationship between Chilean political elites and the news media with the aim of better understanding how political elites in Chile have adapted to the process of mediatization of politics. Theoretically grounded within an institutionalist understanding of mediatization processes, this thesis uses a qualitative research strategy to identify the main drivers of mediatization among Chilean political elites, the operational logics structuring politicians’ and journalists’ interactions, and the dynamics of autonomy-control in the relationship between political and media actors. Findings are derived from analysis of sixty semi-structured interviews with politicians, including current and former Cabinet Ministers, parliamentarians and political party leaders, press officers working with politicians, and journalists with experience covering politics in national media outlets. This thesis identifies the core elements of a centralist, elitist and market-grounded political communication culture comprised of political and media actors that engage in routine and frequent exchanges. In doing so, it identifies cultural and structural elements moderating the process of mediatization. Additionally, this study critically examines political elites’ understandings of news media logics, including dynamics of resistance and instrumental adoption of media languages, temporalities, and routines. This is reinforced by power inequalities in the politician-journalist relationship, organisational constraints, and a strong insider culture acting against the development of journalistic autonomy. Overall, this study puts forward the idea that while the mediatization of political actors suggests constraints on political elites’ behaviour, it should not necessarily be equated with loss of autonomy in the political sphere. Additionally, it advances a multi-level approach to mediatization research that enables observation of conflicting patterns of power relations between political elites and the news media, stressing how mediatization processes are open to multiple normative outcomes. Key words: mediatization of politics, political elites, institutional logics, Chile, qualitative research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Journalism (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.678097
Depositing User: Ximena Orchard Rieiro
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2016 10:50
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11524

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