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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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CiteScore 2018: 0.86

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Volume 39, Issue 1


Mediatization in public bureaucracies: A typology

Kjersti Thorbjornsrud / Tine Ustad Figenschou / Øyvind Ihlen
Published Online: 2014-03-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2014-0002


Based on extensive fieldwork, the present article illustrates how the logic of the news media is expanding from influential communication departments to the practices, routines and priorities of traditional career bureaucrats. To theorize the mediatization of a traditional bureaucratic rationale, the article proposes a typology for how rule-based public organizations adapt to and adopt the news media’s implicit ‘logic of appropriateness.’ We emphasize the importance of (1) the news rhythm and (2) news formats, but also (3) how and why being in the media is valued by civil servants, and (4) how this leads to a reallocation of resources and responsibilities within the organization. We find that career bureaucrats both anticipate and adopt a news logic in their daily work. The normative implications of these transformations are discussed in the final section of the article.

Keywords: mediatization; public bureaucracies; news logic; bureaucratic logic; grounded-theory

About the article

Published Online: 2014-03-04

Published in Print: 2014-03-03

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 39, Issue 1, Pages 3–22, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2014-0002.

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