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Hitting a nerve: populist news articles lead to more frequent and more populist reader comments


Blassnig, Sina; Engesser, Sven; Ernst, Nicole; Esser, Frank (2019). Hitting a nerve: populist news articles lead to more frequent and more populist reader comments. Political Communication, 36(4):629-651.

Abstract

Although research on effects of populist communication has increased, it is still unclear how populism in news articles affects the readers’ manifest behavior, such as whether and how they comment on online news. To address these issues, we conducted a content analysis of online news articles (N = 332) and corresponding reader comments (N = 2786) during election campaigns in France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. We find that populist key messages by political and media actors in news articles do not only provoke more reader comments but also prompt citizens to use populist key messages themselves in their comments – regardless of how journalists contextualize these statements.

Abstract

Although research on effects of populist communication has increased, it is still unclear how populism in news articles affects the readers’ manifest behavior, such as whether and how they comment on online news. To address these issues, we conducted a content analysis of online news articles (N = 332) and corresponding reader comments (N = 2786) during election campaigns in France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. We find that populist key messages by political and media actors in news articles do not only provoke more reader comments but also prompt citizens to use populist key messages themselves in their comments – regardless of how journalists contextualize these statements.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Communication
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Populism, populist communication, online news, reader comments, election campaigns
Language:English
Date:2 October 2019
Deposited On:20 Aug 2019 13:53
Last Modified:16 Feb 2021 01:00
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1058-4609
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2019.1637980

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