- The real spiral of cynicism? Symbiosis and mistrust between politicians and journalists
- The International Journal of Press/Politics
- Volume | Issue number
- 15 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The relationship among media, politicians, and the public has been studied a lot,
especially how the media’s portrayal of politics affects people’s (cynical) attitudes.
Scholars know little about the antecedent of this assumed spiral of cynicism: How
cynical are politicians and journalists about each other and about politics? Based on a
survey among Dutch politicians and political journalists, the research presented in this
article tries to fill this gap. The results show that politicians are rather cynical about
media and journalists, especially when they feel media are out to set the political agenda.
Journalists are equally cynical about politicians as the latter are about themselves, but
it is a relative cynicism since it is lower than that of the general public. Journalists are,
however, convinced that most politicians are driven by what we call "media salacity,"
a drive to get journalists’ attention and coverage, a conviction shared, surprisingly, by
the politicians themselves.
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