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The European Journal of Communication Research

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

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.744
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.147

CiteScore 2017: 1.49

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.703
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.736

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Volume 42, Issue 2


The dimensions of mediatized policy-making in Australian Indigenous affairs

Kerry McCallum / Lisa Waller
Published Online: 2017-04-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2017-0013


This article analyzes media-related policy-making practices in the bureaucratic realm of Indigenous affairs in Australia. It considers the implications of an increasingly media-oriented bureaucracy for particular social policies in the light of recent mediatization theory. A qualitative study explored how bureaucrats working in Indigenous affairs articulated their understanding of the news media’s role in policy development. The article identifies and describes five dimensions of mediatized bureaucratic practice – expertise, monitoring, anticipating, reacting and strategizing – and concludes that mediatized practices have permeated the very fabric of the policy-making process. It finds evidence of an increasingly intimate relationship between the logics and agendas of mainstream news media and bureaucrats working on complex and politically controversial policies. In Australia, mediatized policy-making practices contributed to both the intractability of Indigenous affairs policy and the introduction of radical policy solutions to address apparent policy failure. These findings add to the body of empirical research exploring the mediatization of policy-making and its implications for politically sensitive fields.

Keywords: mediatization; public bureaucracies; news logic; race; minorities and media

About the article

Published Online: 2017-04-02

Published in Print: 2017-04-01

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 42, Issue 2, Pages 173–193, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2017-0013.

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