Christiane Grill, Hajo G. Boomgaarden
How citizens (could) turn into an informed public: Explaining citizens’ attentiveness for European Parliamentary elections

Communications – The European Journal of Communication Research, 2018: 43, Heft 4, S. 468-488
ISSN: 0341-2059 (print); 1613-4087 (online)

Being attentive to European Parliamentary (EP) elections is a decisive prerequisite in becoming more knowledgeable about EU affairs as well as eventually participating in EU politics. Even though attentiveness to politics is a common way of acquiring political information en passant, empirical studies in this realm are scarce. By systematically integrating content analysis data (N = 6432 news stories) with a three-wave panel survey (N = 1497), this study examines the explanatory factors for citizens’ attentiveness to the 2014 EP election. OLS regression models demonstrate that turnout intention and political activity predict citizens’ attentiveness to the election. Media consumption of EU news marginally drives attention to the election.