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Journalistic culture, editorial mission, and news logic: explaining the factors beind the use of populism in European media


Maurer, Peter; Hubé, Nicolas; Stetka, Vaclav; Cremonesi, Cristina; Seddone, Antonella; Ringdal Bergan, Signe; Stanyer, James; Tomov, Marian; Weiss, Naama; Engesser, Sven; Esser, Frank (2019). Journalistic culture, editorial mission, and news logic: explaining the factors beind the use of populism in European media. In: Reinemann, Carsten; Stanyer, James; Aalberg, Toril; Esser, Frank; de Vreese, Claes H.. Communicating populism : comparing actor perceptions, media coverage, and effects on citizens in Europe. New York: Routledge, 102-122.

Abstract

Against the background of the variation in populism between countries exposed in the previous chapter by Blassnig et al., this chapter will focus on article, newspaper, and country-level explanatory factors for this variation. Evidence for between-newspaper variation with respect to populist communication has already been presented elsewhere (Manucci & Weber, 2017; Rooduijn, 2014; Wettstein et al., 2018). The role of the press in a political climate of intensifying conflict among European democracies, especially in relation to financial bailouts for EU member states and the EU’s response to migration pressure, to name a few, has been criticized (Sarikakis, 2012). For instance, Tomov and Raycheva (2018) assert that for Bulgaria, populist messages are widely disseminated in the media, especially during the migrant Crisis and periods of instability. They conclude that the media disseminate populist messages without the necessary criticism, not seeking different points of view on the subject. Due to the emergence and establishment of populist parties in the political field of virtually all European democracies, political communicators might cultivate a populist discourse in the public sphere which would then also be reflected in the degree of populism in newspapers. Furthermore, existing theoretical accounts of populism and the media have suggested that we must distinguish between two forms of populist discourse in media coverage: First, populist messages stemming from political actors who communicate through the media thereby using the media as a communication channel for their ideas, and, second, populism voiced by 3 media actors themselves. For the former, Esser, Stepinska and Hopmann (2017) have coined the term “populism through the media”, and for the latter, “populism by the media”. Mazzoleni (2008) has argued that we can speak of “media populism” when journalists create Populist messages themselves – and thus become much more proactive than merely transmitting the populist statements of political actors. The aim of the chapter is to explore the weight of factors that may help us to explain varying levels of populist communication within and between countries and newspapers, such as journalistic culture of a country, editorial mission of a medium, or style of an article. We work with the same content analysis data as already presented in the previous chapter by Blassnig et al. However, we will limit ourselves to the spring 2017 data (and leave aside the spring 2016 data) because we had a slightly larger number of countries in the sample in spring 2017. The following analyses are based on 762 news stories and 632 opinion pieces published in 34 newspapers from ten western and eastern European countries between February and April 2017. For more information on the type of stories and newspapers analyzed, and for more information on our operationalization of populism and exact methodical approach, we refer to the detailed information given in the preceding chapter of this book, by Blassnig et al.

Abstract

Against the background of the variation in populism between countries exposed in the previous chapter by Blassnig et al., this chapter will focus on article, newspaper, and country-level explanatory factors for this variation. Evidence for between-newspaper variation with respect to populist communication has already been presented elsewhere (Manucci & Weber, 2017; Rooduijn, 2014; Wettstein et al., 2018). The role of the press in a political climate of intensifying conflict among European democracies, especially in relation to financial bailouts for EU member states and the EU’s response to migration pressure, to name a few, has been criticized (Sarikakis, 2012). For instance, Tomov and Raycheva (2018) assert that for Bulgaria, populist messages are widely disseminated in the media, especially during the migrant Crisis and periods of instability. They conclude that the media disseminate populist messages without the necessary criticism, not seeking different points of view on the subject. Due to the emergence and establishment of populist parties in the political field of virtually all European democracies, political communicators might cultivate a populist discourse in the public sphere which would then also be reflected in the degree of populism in newspapers. Furthermore, existing theoretical accounts of populism and the media have suggested that we must distinguish between two forms of populist discourse in media coverage: First, populist messages stemming from political actors who communicate through the media thereby using the media as a communication channel for their ideas, and, second, populism voiced by 3 media actors themselves. For the former, Esser, Stepinska and Hopmann (2017) have coined the term “populism through the media”, and for the latter, “populism by the media”. Mazzoleni (2008) has argued that we can speak of “media populism” when journalists create Populist messages themselves – and thus become much more proactive than merely transmitting the populist statements of political actors. The aim of the chapter is to explore the weight of factors that may help us to explain varying levels of populist communication within and between countries and newspapers, such as journalistic culture of a country, editorial mission of a medium, or style of an article. We work with the same content analysis data as already presented in the previous chapter by Blassnig et al. However, we will limit ourselves to the spring 2017 data (and leave aside the spring 2016 data) because we had a slightly larger number of countries in the sample in spring 2017. The following analyses are based on 762 news stories and 632 opinion pieces published in 34 newspapers from ten western and eastern European countries between February and April 2017. For more information on the type of stories and newspapers analyzed, and for more information on our operationalization of populism and exact methodical approach, we refer to the detailed information given in the preceding chapter of this book, by Blassnig et al.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:18 March 2019
Deposited On:27 Aug 2019 12:49
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:42
Publisher:Routledge
Series Name:Routledge Studies in Media, Communication, and Politics
ISBN:978-1-138-39272-4
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429402067
Related URLs:https://www.recherche-portal.ch/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ebi01_prod011454670&context=L&vid=ZAD&search_scope=default_scope&isFrbr=true&tab=default_tab&lang=de_DE (Library Catalogue)
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