Dimensions, speakers, and targets: Basic patterns in European media reporting on populism

Sina Blassnig, Patricia Rodi, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Kinga Adamczewska, Lilia Raycheva, Sven Engesser, Frank Esser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This chapter first explains the theoretical and methodological background for a content analysis of news coverage across 12 countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Switzerland, United Kingdom) and two years (2016 and 2017). It provides information about the main elements of the content analysis (people-centrism, anti-elitism, sovereignty, and exclusion) and explains sampling strategies, codebook, operationalization and reliability. In addition, it gives descriptive results for the coverage investigated. For example, the chapter shows that 60 percent of all analyzed 'commentaries' and 40 percent of all analyzed 'news items on immigration' contain at least one populist key message. Across both story types (commentaries and immigration-related news items), the most salient dimension of populist communication is anti-elitism, followed by people-centrism and exclusion, while sovereignty is the least common dimension. While populism in some countries is clearly dominated by anti-elitism (Poland, Greece, Israel, and Germany), a second group of countries score moderately high on two or more dimensions (e.g., Switzerland, France), and other countries show a rather low occurrence of all four dimensions (e.g., Norway).

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationCommunicating Populism
Subtitle of host publicationComparing Actor Perceptions, Media Coverage, and Effects on Citizens in Europe
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780429687853
ISBN (Print)9781138392724
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Taylor and Francis.


Dive into the research topics of 'Dimensions, speakers, and targets: Basic patterns in European media reporting on populism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this