Political summits are undemocratic and devastate whole cities through violent protests”. This comment arguably summarises a widely held perception over the last years. But how come these extraordinary political events have such a negative connotation? To trace back the origins of these perceptions, this talk looks at the media coverage of political summits, analysing anecdotal evidence from the G8 summit in Genoa (2001) and the G20 summit in Hamburg (2017).
Arguably, media coverage of these and other summits has foremost focused on violent protests. This “violence frame” is hence likely to inform the dominant perception in the aftermaths of these high politics events. Klebe argues this one-sided framing and the concomitant neglect of other issue areas in the media discourse express themselves twofold: first, the media’s function of democratic accountability is severely undermined; second, political protest is encouraged to resort to violent means. This talk will examine the detrimental (political) implications of these developments.