Heads of Government and Their Media Biographies: How the Media Socialization of German Chancellors Influenced their Strategies Toward the Media

Thomas Birkner, Benjamin Krämer


The relationship between the political strategy of the German chancellors after the Second World War toward the media and their media socialization as well as their media biography is analyzed using secondary sources, (auto)biographies, and other media sources. We interpret the influence of the chancellors’ social background and early influences, their experiences in journalism, the interplay between the chancellors(-to-be) and the media, and their media politics from the perspective of their media socialization and mediatization theory. We identify different types of fundamental perspectives on the media the politicians have taken, and conclude that media socialization continues on a new strategic level during their whole career while their social background continues to play an important role.


media socialization, media biographies, political communication, media politics, mediatization

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