The media determines the agenda of the control sessions of the parliamentary groups in the opposition.
References to foreign policy issues in prime ministerial speeches have fallen exponentially in the last decade to less than 5 percent of speech-time.
People who get their information from traditional media, such as print media or television channels with highly professionalised news production processes, tend to have a greater knowledge of political reality than other news consumers.
Digital media has a greater weight in the information diets of Spaniards than in those of citizens in most central and northern European countries. However, the contribution of Spanish digital media to levels of political knowledge is lower than that of digital media in those countries.
Individuals who are exposed to politically-diverse information diets are more likely to participate than those who are informed through ideologically-close media outlets.
Media and public opinion
Q-Dem studies the extent to which the agenda and content of the mainstream media in Spain
affect citizens' political preferences, knowledge and behaviour. It does so by comparing levels
and patterns of exposure to different types of media (partisan, alternative, public, digital) in
Spain with other countries in Europe, as well as by analysing the contribution of different
information diets to levels of political knowledge and participation.
Political agenda and media agenda
One of the goals of Q-Dem is to explain the interrelationship between the political agenda and
the media agenda. This involves analysing under what conditions the print media determines
the patterns of prioritisation of issues for citizens, members of government and political
representatives in the parliamentary arena. Similarly, Q-Dem analyses the ability of political
elites to influence the issues that appear on the front pages of the written press. The analyses
carried out so far show that the front pages of the mainstream media in Spain discuss a rather
limited number of issues (basically related to government administration, political corruption
scandals, political parties and unemployment) often with a partisan bias; likewise, we show
that MPs follow the media more intensely when they are in the opposition, and especially on
issues that generate conflict, in order to attack their political opponents. The data generated
by Q-Dem allows us to identify which issues have been reported on the front pages of El País
and El Mundo from 1996 to the present day.