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Populism in Online Election Coverage : analyzing populist statements by politicians, journalists, and readers in three countries.


Blassnig, Sina; Ernst, Nicole; Büchel, Florin; Engesser, Sven; Esser, Frank (2019). Populism in Online Election Coverage : analyzing populist statements by politicians, journalists, and readers in three countries. Journalism Studies, 20(8):1110-1129.

Abstract

This article investigates the extent to which populist key messages are distributed via online news articles and Reader comments, as well as how media actors, political actors, and readers employ populist online communication during election periods. Populism is defined as a thin ideology, and four dimensions of populist communication are distinguished: people-centrism, anti-elitism, popular sovereignty, and exclusion. We analyze online news articles and reader comments during election campaigns in France, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. We find that comment sections are more populist than online news articles and that the majority of populist key messages in online news articles originate from politicians, not from journalists. However, we further show that compared with straight news items, opinion-oriented stories are more prone to conveying populist key messages from media actors, whereas straight news favors populism by political actors. Finally, we investigate how online news media moderate populist key messages disseminated by political actors.

Abstract

This article investigates the extent to which populist key messages are distributed via online news articles and Reader comments, as well as how media actors, political actors, and readers employ populist online communication during election periods. Populism is defined as a thin ideology, and four dimensions of populist communication are distinguished: people-centrism, anti-elitism, popular sovereignty, and exclusion. We analyze online news articles and reader comments during election campaigns in France, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. We find that comment sections are more populist than online news articles and that the majority of populist key messages in online news articles originate from politicians, not from journalists. However, we further show that compared with straight news items, opinion-oriented stories are more prone to conveying populist key messages from media actors, whereas straight news favors populism by political actors. Finally, we investigate how online news media moderate populist key messages disseminated by political actors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Content analysis, election campaigns, online news, populism, political communication, reader comments
Language:English
Date:11 June 2019
Deposited On:05 Jul 2018 15:04
Last Modified:26 Apr 2019 01:01
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1461-670X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2018.1487802
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDIZCSZ0-174628
  • : Project TitleC15.0051: Populist Online Communication in Europe: Self-Presentation, Media Representation, and Audience Reconstruction of Political actors

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