Fragmented and yet influential: MP's perceptions on media in Latvia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


More than 30 years have passed since Latvia gained its independence,
however, systematic studies of present-day relationship between
media and politics are still missing. Latvia is a country w here
choice of media is largely determined by ethnicity. Representatives
from ethnic groups acquire their daily information from different
news sources, as the result the trust levels in media depend on the
media format and the language of choice. This study adds to the
literature by studying the perceptions of Latvian Members of
Parliament on media agenda-setting power. Drawing on surveys
of Latvian parliamentarians, the agenda-setting power of media
is assessed and compared to the survey results in Finland. The
results reveal that politicians in Latvia and in Finland think that,
in general, media have a massive influence on politics, but t he
power of written press in Latvia is less evident. And although MPs
acknowledge that media can have a significant influence on how
decisions are made, the greatest impact will be observed during
political debates that can be covered by the media. This study also
demonstrates that even though Latvia scores high in the world
press freedom ranks, MPs do not trust the media to a large extent
and t hat can be a dangerous signal for the functioning of
democracy. The results offer valuable information about the
influence of media in countries outside Western Europe and
provide a basis for further discussions on surveys as a method for
studying the power of media agenda-setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages19
JournalActa Prosperitatis
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • political agenda-setting
  • media power
  • political elite
  • MPs
  • survey

Field of Science*

  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 1.2. Scientific article included in INT1 or INT2 category journal of ERIH database


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