Populism and the media: cross-national findings and perspectives

Frank Esser, Agnieszka Stepinska, David Nicolas Hopmann

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


European media systems have gone through major changes in the last few decades, and these changes have included increased opportunity structures for the dissemination of populist messages. Chapter 12 (‘Switzerland’) rightly states that the disappearance of the traditional party press, increased media ownership concentration, dependence on advertising, and a stronger orientation toward news values have worked in favor of a growing populist discourse. The newly established online media are seen as having a high afnity to populism’s rhetorical persuasion because both aim for the “quick kick/click” with a broad audience. As was stated in Chapter 1 in this volume, the role that the media play in the dissemination of populism is largely under-explored. In the classical research literature dealing with populism (see, e.g., Canovan, 1981; Taggart, 2000), communication and media are not addressed at all. When political scientists make the media their subject, they see the media mostly only as a neutral platform for populist leaders’ appearances and messages. One exception is Mudde (2007), who dedicates at least a few pages to this topic in his book Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe (pp. 248-253). He elaborates in particular on the assumption that tabloids and commercial television share a close relationship with populist communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopulist political communication in Europe
EditorsToril Aalberg, Claes de Vreese, Jesper Strömbäck, Frank Esser, Carsten Reinemann
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9781138654792
ISBN (Electronic)9781315623016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesRoutledge Research in Communication Studies

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Populism and the media: cross-national findings and perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Esser, F., Stepinska, A., & Hopmann, D. N. (2017). Populism and the media: cross-national findings and perspectives. In T. Aalberg, C. de Vreese, J. Strömbäck, F. Esser, & C. Reinemann (Eds.), Populist political communication in Europe (pp. 365-380). Routledge. Routledge Research in Communication Studies https://www.routledge.com/Populist-Political-Communication-in-Europe/Aalberg-Esser-Reinemann-Stromback-De-Vreese/p/book/9781138654792