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Content and consequences of media coverage about the retirement age debate: Traditional versus social media

PhD Student: Linda van den Heijkant MSc

As a response to population aging, many Western countries are implementing pension reforms forcing older workers to prolong their working lives and retire at a later age. Such policy reforms are contested in society, due to their high impact on large groups of citizens, and are often subject of heated public debates.

This PhD project focuses on the content and consequences of media coverage in the public debate on raising the retirement age in the Netherlands. More specifically, the focus is on the role of traditional and social media in the retirement age debate.

Methodologically, the project applies multiple approaches that complement each other. This project relies on automated content analysis and time-series analysis to explore the content of the media coverage and assess intermedia agenda-setting dynamics between the traditional and social media agenda. The more in-depth content of the retirement age debate is investigated by means of a manual content analysis, focusing on how traditional and social media frame the retirement age debate. In addition, using an experimental design, the project aims to investigate the consequences of media coverage on public support for the policy reform.

Ms L. (Linda) van den Heijkant MSc

PhD Student

Prof. dr. R. (Rens) Vliegenthart


Dr. I.R. (Iina) Hellsten