TO INFORM OR TO ENTERTAIN? POLITICAL JOURNALISM IN A NORWEGIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN

According to a recent survey, political journalists in Norway think that their most important task in their coverage of politics, is to inform the public. However, the analysis in this article shows that political journalism during an election is more about entertaining the public. Media coverage during an election is concerned more with style of presentation than with content, i.e. the political issues. This tendency is more obvious in TV than in the newspapers. Political news broadcasts on TV are much more oriented towards framing politics as a strategic game; there are fewer news stories on political issues and there is a much greater tendency to personalize news stories about politics. Even the political experts on TV, who are there to explain political issues, do not give much issue-oriented information about politics during an election campaign. Interviews with political journalists confirm that they use much energy trying to make political issues and news entertaining for the audience.

Keywords: political journalism, election coverage, information, entertainment