EU and the media
The EU Commission has an annual output of around 2 000 press releases. The target audience is the world's largest resident body of press representatives, the roughly 1 000 journalists who are accredited by the Commission in Brussels.
Maria Lindholm, linguistic researcher at LiU, has devoted her thesis work to analyzing how these press releases are produced and what form they are given.
"The EU Commission press releases have a retrospective slant and include more explanatory text than is normally the case in a press release," she explains. "They give background facts and clarifications. They use considerable space to point out the intended benefit of the current decision, and describe the anticipated consequences.
"The need for additional clarification certainly is due in part to the EU being a complex and still rather unknown decision-making body." But Maria Lindholm believes too that the EU needs to expend more effort than would, say, the Swedish government to motivate its existence, its legitimacy.
Of the roughly 1 000 media reporters from 60 countries, who are accredited in Brussels, several hundred turn up each day at the noon press conference. Press releases are available in English and usually in French.
"These press conferences are genial occasions with an atmosphere of familiarity," Maria Lindholm says. Everybody seems to know everybody and on the surface it can look like a gathering of friends."
Last updated: 2009-06-03