Political Leaders in Daily Newspapers: Analysis of the 2016 Croatian Parliamentary Elections

Damir Jugo, Lana Ciboci, Maja Banovac Barić


This paper analyses the daily newspaper reporting on
key political leaders of the 2016 parliamentary elections,
the first early parliamentary elections in Croatia directly
caused by a breakup of the ruling coalition. The introduction
to these surprise and short-notice elections, at which
preferential voting was practiced for only the second
time, was a short election campaign and a change in
leadership of the biggest party (HDZ), which triggered
the extensive use of personalisation in campaigns run
by the biggest parties and their coalitions. This study
examines how five leaders of the most prominent political
parties were presented in the six most relevant Croatian
daily newspapers during the official election campaign.
The findings reveal that the leaders of the two biggest
parties dominated media coverage, but also that the
only new leader, HDZ's Andrej Plenković, had a very
favourable treatment in all of the analysed daily
newspapers. Results also showed political programmes
and private lives of the leaders to be marginal topics
within the analysed leaders' media coverage.


Croatia; 2016 parliamentary elections; political leaders; daily newspapers; personalisation

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Copyright (c) 2018 Damir Jugo, Lana Ciboci, Maja Banovac Barić

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096