Journalists’ Perceptions of Populism and the Media: A Cross-National Study Based on Semi-Structured Interviews

James Stanyer, Susana Salgado, Giuliano Bobba, Gergő Hajzer, David Nicolas Hopmann, Nicolas Hubé, Norbert Merkovity, Gökay Özerim, Stylianos Papathanassopoulos, Karen B Sanders, Dusan Spasojevic, Lenka Vochocová

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter for the first time shows how journalists react to populist politicians and movements and what they think about them. It examines the reactions of journalists in serious and popular media to the presence of populism in 13 countries. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with around 50 journalists, the chapter explores popular definitions of populism; reasons for popularity; issues related to populism; consequences of populism; and perceptions of media support for populism. The research shows that while journalists do not agree on a single definition of populism, they see the phenomenon as a negative force with detrimental consequences for European democracies. Journalists identify a number of reasons for the rise of populism; most often mentioned are immigration and economic issues, alongside the effective communication of populist politicians. There are no strong regional patterns of perceptions of populism nor systematic differences between journalists from different types of media outlets. Rather, there are commonalities in more general perceptions of populism that cross nations and differences in more specific questions that point to the relevance of specific national experiences, situations, and circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicating Populism : Comparing Actor Perceptions, Media Coverage, and Effects on Citizens in Europe
EditorsCarsten Reinemann, James Stanyer, Toril Aalberg, Frank Esser, Claes H de Vreese
Place of PublicationOxon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dateMar 2019
Pages34-50
Chapter3
ISBN (Print)9781138392724
ISBN (Electronic)9780429402067
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
SeriesRoutledge Studies in Media, Communication, and Politics

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    Stanyer, J., Salgado, S., Bobba, G., Hajzer, G., Hopmann, D. N., Hubé, N., Merkovity, N., Özerim, G., Papathanassopoulos, S., Sanders, K. B., Spasojevic, D., & Vochocová, L. (2019). Journalists’ Perceptions of Populism and the Media: A Cross-National Study Based on Semi-Structured Interviews. In C. Reinemann, J. Stanyer, T. Aalberg, F. Esser, & C. H. de Vreese (Eds.), Communicating Populism: Comparing Actor Perceptions, Media Coverage, and Effects on Citizens in Europe (pp. 34-50). Routledge. Routledge Studies in Media, Communication, and Politics https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429402067-3