De cultuur van het televisiedebat - Veranderende percepties van de relatie tussen media en politiek, 1960 - heden | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 127, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


This article adopts a new perspective on the interaction between political parties and Dutch television in election campaigns from the 1960s onwards. Rather than exploring the ‘real’ impact of television on the nature and content of political campaigning, it presents a case study of televised debates in order to explore changing perceptions among parties and press regarding the so-called mediatization of politics. It shows that televised debates were at first perceived as a means to bridge the gap between politics and people. In the 1970s and early 1980s, when parties tried to control the set-up of these debates, they met with increasing criticism and were perceived as having hardly any influence on the outcome of the elections. Although the staging of the debates remained the same, midway through the 1980s perceptions of the impact of television dramatically changed. In response to the surprising outcome of the 1986 general election a discourse of mediatization and Americanization became dominant. This in turn resulted in a re-evaluation of the relationship between politics and the media in which the latter were now said to hold the upper hand.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): election campaigns; mediatization; perceptions; political history; Televised debates
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