War on the Agenda: The Gaza Conflict and Communication in the 2009 Elections
WithYariv Tsfati, Tamir Sheafer, Gabriel Weimann
Pages 26

The news media serve as the central arena for political actors to promote their political positions and preferred images. This contest becomes especially intensive during election campaigns as each candidate and/or political party attempts to dominate the media agenda and media images. Political communication scholars point to a process of "mediatization" of politics, which is characterized by an "increasing intrusion of the media in the political process". The explanation for the higher congruence between public and parties' agendas is related to the fact that the media paid much more attention to crime and to Israeli Arabs, compared to both the public and the parties. The time vicinity to the Gaza conflict had an influence on the issue agenda of news coverage and of the parties' campaigns. The media also put much less emphasis on social issues, compared to the public and the parties.