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New Parties on the News. How New(s) Media and New Parties Shape Attention and Electoral Support for Political Ideas.

Openness to new political ideas plays an important part in democracies. New ideas are often put forward by new political parties. And new parties depend on the media in order to be able to communicate with the electorate. It is inevitable, therefore, that the media largely shape the public images of new parties. However, studies of new parties pay little attention to the part played by media. Vice versa, studies of media pay little attention to their role in shaping the images of new parties. While VOX in Spain, the Five Star Movement in Italy and the AfD in Germany have been hugely successful, we still don’t know: how and to what extent news media pay attention to new parties; which factors determine the coverage; how media coverage promotes the emergence of new parties; and how the use of social media promotes the emergence of new parties.

Van Spanje wants to change this by developing and testing an Integrative Framework of Political Party Gatekeeping. In doing so, he will show how new parties are portrayed in the media and how this affects election results. Until October 2021, the project will run parallel to Van Spanje’s NWO Vidi-project.

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a Consolidator Grant to political scientist Joost van Spanje. The prestigious Consolidator Grants are awarded to individual researchers and amount to around 2 million euros per project. Consolidator Grants are intended for researchers who obtained their PhDs 7 to 12 years ago. The grants enable the researchers to consolidate their position as independent researchers.