CE38 - Révolution numérique : rapports au savoir et à la culture

A computational perspective on influence between legislative and media agendas – Medialex

Submission summary

In a context of destabilization of the public space linked to digital technology, the MEDIALEX project aims to renew the understanding of the dynamics of influence between parliamentary, media and public agendas. Its main objective is to better understand how parliamentarians, the media and the public influence each other in the definition of priority topics for public debate. To achieve this, the project intends to develop new computational methods to track statements in different layers of the public space. By bringing together sociologists, political scientists, computer scientists and computational linguistics researchers, this interdisciplinary project aims to (1) understand the dynamics of influence between the agendas of parliamentarians, the media and the public, (2) develop original methods to identify media events and reported utterances in large heterogeneous corpora, and (3) study the effects of the digitization of the public space on the legislator's ability to impose the topics of public discussion.

The project mobilizes methods from the computational social sciences, taking advantage of new analytical frameworks that reconcile social science approaches with new computational tools. The methodological challenge of the project consists in developing methods from automatic language processing, in order to allow the identification of themes that cross the public debate in a more refined way and on a larger scale. These methods concern the identification of events on Twitter, on the one hand, and the identification of discourses reported in voluminous and heterogeneous corpora (newspapers, television, radio, parliamentary questions and debates, Twitter and Facebook).

The scientific program of MEDIALEX is divided into four work packages. The first one gathers the tasks of coordination, corpus management and dissemination (WP1). The three other work packages explore the influence of parliamentary, media and public agendas in three complementary ways. WP2 considers influence in a structural way, aiming at identifying over the long term which large category of actors (parliamentarians, media, public) manages to impose priority topics of attention on the others. WP3 considers influence at a finer scale, by studying the mechanisms of circulation of discourses between parliamentary, media and public spaces. Finally, WP4 focuses on the interpretations that are produced by the media and the public from parliamentary work (WP4).

The vocation of MEDIALEX is essentially scientific, but given its object and the techniques implemented, the project aims to contribute to public debate. Through "datasprints" and "workshops", the project intends to involve actors and experts around new ways of representing the public space and political activity. MEDIALEX's approach is thus in line with the major concerns of our societies regarding the role of Parliament, the production of public policies, the role of the media and the renewal of the forms of democracy.

Project coordination

Sylvain Parasie (Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po))

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


INA INA - Service de la Recherche
FNSP Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po)
CREST Centre de Recherche en Economie et Stastistique - CREST
LATTICE Langues, textes, traitements informatiques, cognition

Help of the ANR 514,800 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: October 2021 - 48 Months

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