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  • Author or Editor: Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen x
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This article seeks to explain the frequency and tone of media attention for public organisations. Expectations are formulated on the impact of fundamental organisational features on the frequency and tone of coverage of public organisations. A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) is used to analyse the nuanced interplay between legal independence, primary task and organisational size. The results show that this configurational approach is necessary to understand which public organisations appear in the media and how. Legal independence, task and size do not operate independently, but combine in explaining the media attention for public organisations.

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This article offers results of a comparative case study into how pressures from the media translate into the involvement of senior civil servants (SCSs) in media management and how this is reflected in differentiated ways in politico-administrative relationships. It offers tentative explanations for these differences through the lens of ‘public service bargains’. Based upon a qualitative analysis of documents and 62 interviews with SCSs and advisers in Denmark, Sweden and the UK, the research found that: (i) media management, in some countries, generates an extension and an amplification of the normative expectations towards SCSs’ involvement in media management; (ii) this is accompanied by a revitalisation of the reflections from SCSs to balance their responsiveness to the minister with anonymity and neutrality when involved in media management; (iii) an extensive formal politicisation seems to curb pressures on SCSs’ anonymity and neutrality and their involvement in media management. These findings improve our knowledge of SCSs’ involvement in media management by raising crucial questions about the political neutrality of administrators, tendencies towards politicised governance and (more) interventionist political staffers – amid intensified pressures from the media on governments.

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