For more than five decades now, the member states of what we now know as the European Union (EU) have been engaged in a process of deepening economic and political (and more recently, military) integration. But has this process of increasing integration been accompanied by a converging or common news culture and journalism within the 27 member countries that now comprise the EU area? This chapter examines whether or how there are any traces of an emergent or common ‘European’ journalism culture today and whether there are any patterns to the way in which ‘European’ topics or issues are covered by the news media. In addressing these questions, the chapter draws on our original multicountry research, including in-depth interviews with almost 100 journalists and reviews of national research literature in 11 countries. It is further informed by a series of seminar and roundtable discussions with media professionals, politicians and non-governmental organisations centred on the preliminary results of the research. But first, we move on to consider why and how the issues surrounding ‘European’ level news cultures and an emergent supra-national public sphere matter.

The EU integration project: a case of ‘intensified globalisation’