The relationship between political agenda building and media agenda building is examined with reference to mobilization of the Spanish antimilitary movement between 1976-1993. Three models of media-state relations are discussed in terms of possible media outcomes of social protest. These models are used to examine political and media agenda building in relation to movement challenges. An analysis of the coverage of the antimilitary movement by three national dailies demonstrates that political opportunity structures shape media opportunity structures. There are, however, small windows of opportunity when the causal effect works in the other direction. Media structures can help a movement open, reset, and sometimes block official policies. Media opportunities, however, do not remain favorable in the long run because government elites can bureaucratize and trivialize movement challenges, thereby reducing their newsworthiness. Institutionalized media abide by journalistic rules that tend to validate the political class and, in the long run, dilute social protest.

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