In all countries under study, interviews are conducted with 200 to 300 top members of the political communication elite at the national level, half of them belonging to the media elite and half of them belonging to the political elite. Taken together, 2,500 people are interviewed.
The Political Elite
For the political elite the sample includes
- Members of the government
- Members of the parliament
- Political Party leaders
About one third of the sample consists of the head political spokespeople of these organizations. In some countries, further political actors are included in order to reflect the actual circumstances in each country as good as possible:
- Leading Members of the Political Administration
- Leaders of socio-economic interest groups (labour unions, employer organizations)
- Top political consultants
The Media Elite
For the media elite the sample considers the most relevant media organizations in regard to the coverage of national politics in each country. Depending on the structure of the media market in each country, these include – in varying shares – daily newspapers, political magazines, TV and radio stations and in some countries also news agencies and online media.
Within the media organizations, we include both editors and journalists:
- Members of the editorial board and heads of the political reporting sections and programmes (about one third of the sample)
- Head political correspondents (about two thirds of the sample)