Populism and media policy failure

Freedman, Des (D. J.). 2018. Populism and media policy failure. European Journal of Communication, 33(6), pp. 604-618. ISSN 0267-3231 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Far right populist politicians and movements have secured high levels of visibility thanks to often compliant media outlets and unregulated digital platforms. The pursuit of media coverage and the communication of rage are no longer incidental but essential to the growth of reactionary populisms. Yet, while prominent liberal media outlets are ‘aghast’ at events such as the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote, little attention has been paid to the structural conditions and policy frameworks that have facilitated the circulation of clickbait and misinformation, together with the incessant coverage of their leaders, that have been exploited by far right movements. This article identifies four areas of ‘media policy failure’ that have nurtured highly skewed media environments and concludes by calling for a new policy paradigm based around redistribution that aims to reconstruct media systems in order to undermine the appeal of populist forces on the far right.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



populism, media policy, political communication, media ownership

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre


11 May 2018Accepted
30 July 2018Published Online
1 December 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Aug 2018 08:49

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 15:23

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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