PhD Candidate: Jeroen Jonkman
Project description:

Every day news media pay attention to large corporations and the activities they are involved in. Company news can be seen as a central overarching agenda which offers audiences – the general public, but also specific organizational stakeholders such as politicians, competitors, activists and investors – information about a wide variety of corporate actors and possibilities to make sense of what they do and how they are related to certain issues. To date, scant academic research has been able to capture systemic patterns of variation in company news and its effects. For example, we don’t know much about the sort of firms and issues that systematically receive media-attention; why some firms receive more attention than others; how firms and issues are framed over time; and how company news influences the public over time.

In this project, we draw on the theories of agenda setting and framing to investigate the causes, content and consequences of company news in the context of large commercial corporations in the Netherlands and the Dutch media landscape. Methodologically we rely on computer assistant content analysis. First, we examine news frame variation in the context of a corporate issue: third party airport risk in the vicinity of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, from 1992-2009. Second, we investigate the effect of attention to commercial banks on media agenda diversity during the economic crisis, from 2007-2013. Third, we study to what extent corporate characteristics play a role in explaining media coverage about the top-100 largest companies in The Netherlands in 2014. Fourth, we assess to what extent individual media usage and preferences might moderate longitudinal agenda-setting effects with regard to media salient companies in 2015.