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Nikolaus Wegmann et Ute Mehnert

Scoop-o-mania, l’introduction du scoop dans la vie politique allemande

Le Temps des médias n°7, hiver 2006-07, p.143-150

A politician uses scoops so as to enable him/her to divert attention from the difficulties by exploiting the media coverage to which (s)he is exposed. This paper centers on chancellor Schröder’s skilfull use of the media and analyses two instances of how the chancellor proved a past master in manouvering journalists who despite the apparence of distance were in effect close partners. Confronted by the probablility of losing elections in Westphalia, he had it made known that the electoral calendar was to be changed ; the announcement of this unexpected change, a scoop in effect (22 May 2005) diverted attention from his election losses. The media helped him in this diversion strategy. The second case here analysed shows that scoop tactics do not always work. Before it became clear that he had lost the Septermber 2005 elections G. Schröder clamed that, despite what the polls had forecast, his SPD party had emerged as victors. This attempted media coup failed. What is more, the chancellor lost his media charisma in the political and media infighting of this post-electoral period ; Angela Merkel appeared untarnished and more “authentic”. Does this mean that media manipulative skills and spin-doctoring are sidelined ?This may be true at present… until such time as another politician in power decides how useful they could be… DrapeauFrancais

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