Hartmut Wessler, Eike Mark Rinke
Deliberative performance of television news in three types of democracy: Insights from the United States, Germany, and Russia

Journal of Communication, 2014: 64, issue 5, pp. 827-851
ISSN: 0021-9916 (print); 1460-2466 (online)

We show that television news is considerably more deliberative in established (United States, Germany) than in defective democracies (Russia) and slightly more deliberative in a power-sharing political system(Germany) than in a power-concentrating system(United States). We further demonstrate that public-service channels, nonpartisan programs, and in-depth news shows make stronger overall contributions toward deliberativeness than their respective counterparts.While national news cultures produce distinct national styles of mediated deliberation, individual channels in the United States (Fox, CNN) and Russia (REN) cut across these national patterns. The significance of deliberative media content for citizens and political elites is discussed.