The Media and Neo-populism: A Contemporary Comparative Analysis

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Political Science - 253 pages
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Mazzoleni, Stewart, Horsfield, and their contributors analyze the two-way relationship of the mass media and the contemporary phenomenon of extreme right wing neo-populist political parties which emerged in the closing years of the 20th century across the world. The success of Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the neo-populist Front National, in the first French presidential ballot in April 2002 shows that these extremist parties have strong, if varying, electoral support. Drawn into reporting on the policies and antigovernment critiques of the new parties, the mass communication institutions, especially those engaged in news production, have been challenged by a variety of unconventional but effective political campaign strategies that caused many media professionals considerable challenge.

Taking an approach informed by mass communication theory, this book analyzes eight case studies of the interaction of news media dynamics and neo-populism in Austria, Australia, France, Canada, India, Italy, the United States, and the Latin American region against the background of widespread disenchantment with traditional parties and the complacency and cynicism of popularly elected governments. Insights into media responses reveal how dependent on media coverage the neo-populist parties were and how, in many cases, the media were initially unequal to the confronting ideologies of the new parties. Although the news media exploited the new parties, new parties exploited the news media as well in quite shrewd and original ways. This is an important resource for scholars, students, and other researchers involved with political mass communications and right-wing political organizations.


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The Media and the Growth of NeoPopulism in Contemporary Democracies
Striking a Responsive Chord Mass Media and RightWing Populism in Austria
The Media and NeoPopulism in France
The Lega Nord and the Italian Media System
The Bharatiya Janata Party Ayodhya and the Rise of Populist Politics in India
One Nation and the Australian Media
More Bad News News Values and the Uneasy Relationship between the Reform Party and the Media in Canada
Ross Perots Outsider Challenge New and Old Media in American Presidential Campaigns
Media Populism NeoPopulism in Latin America
Conclusion Power to the Media Managers
About the Editors and Contributors

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About the author (2003)

GIANPIETRO MAZZOLENI is Professor of Sociology of Mass Communication and Political Communication at the University of Milan. In addition he is Chair of the EuroMedia Research Group and Vice-chair of the Political Communication Division of the International Communication Association and serves on the editorial boards of The European Journal of Communication and of Political Communication. He is the author of La Comunicazione Politica (1998) and editor of the Italian scholarly journal Communicazione Politica.

JULIANNE STEWART is Lecturer in Mass Communication at the University of Southern Queensland. She has written about television policy in the Pacific Islands and Papua New Guinea and on new communication technologies in rural Queensland.

BRUCE HORSFIELD is Associate Professor in Communication and Media Studies and Director of the Center for Communication Research and Development at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. He has published widely on mass communication issues.

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