Altheide, David L. – Merkovity, Norbert:
Altheide, David L. – Merkovity, Norbert:
How Does Fear and Attention-Based Politics Help Donald Trump and Other Right-Wing Autocrats?
This paper is about how the campaigns of Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 transformed American politics and invigorated right-wing autocrats throughout the globe. Donald Trump took the politics of fear to a new level by promoting the fear of immigrants, especially Mexicans, while demonising Muslims and other groups. Many American citizens supported this fear with ballots even when protests started in the U.S. against hateful attacks or thousands died because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The relativisation of objective facts and the spread of false news have been included in the toolbox of autocratic leaders like Trump. We need to recognise the dynamics of this process and take decisive action against them. This study argues that after the Trump years, the widespread dissemination of media literacy should be promoted, in which academics should also be involved.
Keywords: attention-based politics, autocratic transition, autocratic politicians, Donald Trump, fake news, George Floyd, media logic, political communication, politics of fear, U.S. presidential election, U.S. media
Médiakutató Spring 2021 pp. 11-20
Iconoclasm in the US alternative media: the 2020 statue removals in the articles of an alt-right and a liberal news site
This paper observes the presentation of iconoclasm as a tool of memory politics in the articles of Breitbart, one of the main representatives of American alt-right media, in the light of the events of the series of protests in the summer of 2020. During the wave of demonstrations held after George Floyd was killed, several statues and memorials were toppled by protesters or removed by authorities because of their difficult heritage or objectionable historical characters. The issue was widely covered by the press. This paper presents the possibilities of using monuments and their destruction for political objectives, and performs a thematic analysis with qualitative and quantitative methods on how an extremist news outlet portrays and comments these events. In an attempt to stress the complexity of the issue, it also analyses articles from the other end of the political spectrum, Vox, and compares the different approaches in search of similarities and differences.
Médiakutató Spring 2021 pp. 23-32
The political reversal of the Republican Party since the 1930s and the role of the conservative press
This study presents a topic that has so far played a smaller role in Hungarian analytical works: the relationship between the Republican Party’s shift to the right and the conservative press, especially with regard to the conservative movement that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Republican Party’s shift to the right since the 1930s and then its entire conservative turn in the 1960s are reflected in the media in general and especially in the print press: the number of dedicated conservative publications increases or changes in terms of their subject area in response to the changing ideology of the Republican Party and other conservative movements outside the party system. This study details the causes and practical implementation of the ideological change of the Republican Party, and then examines the changes taking place in the party and the Conservative side as a whole by reviewing the conservative journals of the 20th century, with great emphasis on the National Review magazine, founded in 1955.
Médiakutató Spring 2021 pp. 35-46
The Beginnings of Today’s Republican Party in the 1930s and its Developement until the 1960s
Over the past 100 years, the two major political parties of the United States, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, have swapped places in the political and ideological fields. There used to be both progressives and conservatives in both parties, but to date we find almost only conservatives in the Republican Party. This study briefly presents the conservative development of the Republican Party. The roots of the party’s current identity, rhetoric, and political narrative can be found in the state of California during the Great Depression. In 1934, before a governoral election, Republicans entrusted their campaign to political advisers for the first time. During the election of the governor, the importance of media politics, professionalisation, campaign communication, and political narratives rose to a higher level. The Republican Party developed a new narrative resulting in a broad, motivated and committed voting base that continues to thrive to this day. This paper also shows how the trend that had started in California expanded and developed up until the 1960s, including President Richard Nixon himself and the infamous Southern strategy.
Médiakutató Spring 2021 pp. 47-57
“I’m entertained, I’m horrified, and I become informed – all at the same time.”
The starting point of this study is that in the age of social media, news consumption is similar to entertainment consumption. We may think that our news consumption is fundamentally driven by rationality, but we are much more likely to pick the news on an emotional basis. The functions of information and of entertainment are even more closely connected to date than before, owing to memes and various infotainment videos, among other things. The communities we belong to represent similar values and have a decisive impact on which contents grab our attention. Consequently, we evaluate highly the opinions of people who are close to us and whom we follow on social media platforms. These individuals and groups also play an important role in how we assess the credibility of the news. This empirical research is based on interviews with university students aged 20 to 25, subjected to qualitative content analysis.
Médiakutató Spring 2021 pp. 61-74