News and elections: German bundestag campaigns in the Bild, 1990-2002

Holli A. Semetko*, Klaus Schoenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This article looks at how political reporting has changed over time in the Bild, Germany's most widely read newspaper. The authors content analyzed the political coverage during the seven weeks prior to the federal elections in 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002. They found increasing emphasis on the campaign in the news from one election to the next, which can be explained by the fact that the elections themselves became more competitive and thus had more news value. They also find increasing negativity toward the two main parties between 1990 and 1998 and toward the SPD (Social Democratic Party) since 1998. The Bild's editorial decision to include more commentary pieces in 2002 is at least in part responsible for the strongly negative coverage of the SPD and the chancellor in that election, but the greater negativity was also due to the increased volume of other political news stories that also contained negative evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-69
Number of pages16
JournalHarvard International Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Evaluations
  • Germany
  • Negativity
  • Newspapers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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