German Quality in the Service of a European Public Sphere? An Analysis of the Deutsche Welle’s European Journal program
Keywords:European public sphere, horizontal Europeanization, European Journal, Deutsche Welle
The economic crisis of the European Union has rendered the European public sphere as a forever emerging concept marked by uncertainties regarding its structure. In this context, eyes of both European officials and citizens turn towards the media, the main communication link between the EU and its citizens. The present paper looks at a media product that is designed to permeate multiple national public spheres, the weekly news show European Journal, a half-hour TV program produced by Deutsche Welle and rebroadcast by partner TV channels throughout Europe. Considering the main characteristics of the European public sphere as identified in the literature, with a focus on horizontal Europeanization, and using the method of content analysis, this paper looks at the means employed by the European Journal to support the integration process and to add a European dimension to national public sphere. Findings suggest that the type of public sphere promoted by the European Journal is not centered around the EU as a distinct entity, but around the member states, approach which supports the idea of a horizontal Europeanization.