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How has the media coverage of parliaments and politics changed in the last decade? This article seeks to answer this question by exploring the media coverage of parliament and politics in Britain and Germany in 1986 and 1996. Drawing on an analysis of a range of newspapers and broadcast media from these two years, as well as interviews with practitioners and politicians, this article begins to identify the extent, and diverse nature, of those changes and their significance in relation to the degree of access now granted to political actors, to the range of subjects now covered and to the main locations of political coverage. This article argues, finally, that the issues this research raises encompass questions about democracy and citizenship.